Bossies Community Justice’s Albert Gryvenstein said he was called to the scene at about 10:30. “I responded to the scene as we received a call about a crowd gathering outside the hospital. As I arrived, the police got there at the same time.
“Members of the community and some Rob Ferreira staff surrounded a white Mazda bakkie. They found stolen cellphones and a laptop inside it.”
He said the crowd initially got a hold of two suspects but one managed to escape. “The man was assaulted by the crowd.”
Police and Gryvenstein managed to arrest the suspect and get him safely into the back of the police van.
The crowd then attempted to set the suspect’s bakkie alight. “The police quickly prevented this from happening.”
“One man standing next to me said he recognised the suspect and told me he had stolen from him. He told me he was going to pay for what he did.
“Some people were telling me that in the past week, there had been more cases of theft out of motor vehicles outside the hospital.”
Gryvenstein said the people told him they were fed up with crime. “We managed to calm the crowd down as soon as the suspect and his vehicle were removed from the scene,” he added.
A source said the suspect who was arrested allegedly had four previous cases against him for the same crime. Nelspruit Concerned Citizens’ John Meintjies said there had been two cases reported the past week outside Rob Ferreira Hospital.
“The city had a massive drop last month in theft out of motor vehicle cases, but it seems to have increased in the past week. Last week there were 22 cases reported around Mbombela.”
Police spokesman Lt Col Erhard Stroh said the suspect was arrested for theft out of motor vehicles. He appeared in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
At the time of going to press the outcome was not yet known.