EDITORIAL: Don’t involve kids in criminal activities

A DARING syndicate of five thieves, who were caught on close circuit television (CCTV) stealing laptops in the Harare Central Business District, has been the talk of town.

Moving around as a family with kids, the quintet has been getting away with expensive electronic gadgets like laptops.

In their modus operandi, they look modest as they pretend to be newcomers in the city.

From their behaviour, one can be easily tempted that they have just arrived from rural areas and they are in need of electronic gadgets.

These stunts are made to deceive shop owners and many have fallen for their tricks.

What is sad is that they also use kids in their criminal activities to steal these electronic gadgets.

Children should not be exposed to shameful acts of this magnitude.

In one of the videos that is in circulation, kids were used as they stole two laptops from one of the shops in the Harare CBD.

The quintet’s moves are well executed and one can tell that a lot of practice goes in before they hit their targets.

We all have a duty to teach our kids that stealing is wrong.

These thieves are not only teaching their kids the opposite but they are involving them in their stealing acts.

Our readers have noted with concern that the thieving quintet is heartless with the way they involve kids in their activities.

This is not the best way to raise a child as they are “initiated” into crime at a young age.

We ran a story in this newspaper where we pleaded to well-wishers to report the thieves to the police if they know them.

With the public’s cooperation, the syndicate’s days will soon be numbered.

This is the best way we can curb such activities.

Most shop owners are struggling to pay rentals and employees during these challenging times.

And, when these people, who are trying by all means possible to earn a decent and honest living, including creating employment for those who work in their shops, are hit by these thieves, it paints a bleak picture of their business.

These are small players in the industry and any hit they suffer at the hands of these thieves tends to hit them very hard.

Of course, no country in the world can claim to have not even one thief.

But, what we can do is to limit the numbers of these thieves and the good thing about investing in CCTV is that it gives us a chance to capture the images of these thieves and then help the authorities deal with them.

In this case, if we help the authorities to arrest these thieves we will also, in a way, help these innocent children who are being used in these criminal activities.

We call on the people who know the suspects we saw on those CCTV images to help get them arrested.

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