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Cop helps man escape from holding cells!

A SUSPECTED thief who escaped from police cells yesterday told a court that a police officer helped him sneak under the inquiries counter...

A SUSPECTED thief who escaped from police cells yesterday told a court that a police officer helped him sneak under the inquiries counter and to freedom - under the noses of dozing officers.

Melusi John Phiri, 32, told Western Commonage magistrate Willard Maphios Moyo that Constable Tatenda Zhakata stationed at Luveve Police Station released him on the night of January 22 this year after telling him: "Make sure you’re not caught again."

According to the Chronicle, Phiri also alleges that he bribed the police officer with an undisclosed sum of money. Police opened charges of escaping from lawful custody against him, claiming the suspected criminal jumped through the window of a toilet in handcuffs at Luveve Police Station at about 9.20PM.

Phiri, of Old Magwegwe, had been arrested for unlawful entry and theft. He was not asked to plead to all the charges yesterday and the magistrate remanded him in custody to Friday for start of trial.

Prosecuting, Tatenda Dakwa told how between December 12 and December 19 last year, Phiri broke into Trust Boka’s house in Emakhandeni at night.

He opened the gate by breaking a lock and then cut burglar bars to gain access into the property. While inside, he allegedly stole household property comprising television sets, a laptop, and cell phone handsets valued at $5,550.

Only $550 worth of the stolen property was recovered. When Phiri was arrested on January 22, he claimed he bought the property from a man named Tom.


Prosecutors say Phiri was taken into the charge office where he later asked to go to the toilet to relieve himself. Const Zhakata, the court heard, accompanied him and waited outside but after some time decided to check in the toilet after noticing that Phiri had taken too long inside but the suspect was long gone.