By Tonderai Saharo
A Masvingo teenager who terrorised residents by breaking into their homes and stealing property will rue the day he started his escapades after being slapped with a five year prison term.
Peacemaker Mambudu, aged 19 and employed as a brick moulder, was convicted on his own guilty plea to 14 counts of burglary he committed in a space of a single week.
Court heard that the teenager committed the offences from 25 to 31 August this year in the same neighbourhood by moving from one house to another in the absence of the owners.
The crimes were committed during day time.
Masvingo magistrate Godswill Mavenge conditionally suspended one year of his sentence.
Prosecutor Malvin Mapako told court that Mambudu terrorised residents in the sprouting suburb of Victoria Range, breaking into their homes and stealing their valuables.
Court was told that Mambudu could rob the homes of his victims in broad daylight while they were at work, and used an unknown object to break windows to gain entry into their houses.
He then ransacked the rooms before stealing property, cash and food items.
His luck ran out when an ambush was laid by members of the criminal investigations department as he attempted another break in.
Part of the looted property valued at ZW$2 054 which included cell phones, amplifiers and radios was recovered.
In passing sentence, magistrate Mavenge said cases of burglary especially committed by teenagers were on the increase in Masvingo and a deterrent sentence was most appropriate to warn would-be offenders.