By A Correspondent- A Beitbridge-based police officer fell off a rooftop and died while chasing a thief who was trying to steal solar panels.
The police officer, who sustained critical head injuries, was pronounced dead upon admission at the Beitbridge District Hospital.
National police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident that happened in Kwalu 1 suburb. He said:
We confirm the death of a police officer and a suspected solar panels thief in Beitbridge on Tuesday evening.
Preliminary investigations reveal that the suspected thief was spotted on a rooftop by members of the community while attempting to steal solar panels at the property.
Our police officers then swiftly reacted to the call and upon arrival one of the police officers tried to apprehend the suspect. They both fell to the ground and the police officer sustained critical injuries and died at the local hospital.
Asst Comm Nyathi said the solar panel thief was taken to the Beitbridge main police station where he later committed suicide.
Asst Comm Nyathi said investigators had since interviewed the three cellmates about the suicide
He added that the names of the deceased cannot be released at this stage.
The property owner, Ms Marian Mbedzi, said she was still shaken by the incident which occurred in the presence of her children aged seven and 11 years. She said they had received counselling from neighbours and her extended family members.
Solar panels are a common source of energy for about 3000 properties erected in new suburbs around Beitbridge town, where ZESA has been struggling to service the area.
As a result, thefts of solar panels and related accessories have become a recurring issue over the years. -statemedia