French tourists snatch handbag

Judging by the current state and neglect of the Victoria Falls highway, a key national and international tourism corridor, it is clear that the government does not give a hoot about the development and economic growth of Matabeleland.

A FRENCH couple has been locked up in Victoria Falls after allegedly breaking into a car and stealing a handbag with cash and a cellphone to raise money for air tickets back home.

Nokuthaba Dlamini
Own correspondent

David Ernie Kruger (32) and Mitchell Van Rooyn (34) yesterday appeared before Victoria Falls resident magistrate Sharon Rosemani facing theft charges.

Prosecutor Takunda Ndovorwi said last Sunday at around 3pm Nicola Jayne Finaughty who resides at West Drive suburbs left her handbag in a Nissan twin cab vehicle parked in her yard.

While she was inside the house, the couple hatched a plan to steal her handbag.

Van Rooyn allegedly jumped over the security wall while Kruger stood guard at the gate.

She allegedly picked up a stone and hit the front left window and took a khaki handbag.

Van Rooyn reportedly threw the handbag to her husband before fleeing.

The two were seen by Finaughty’s neighbour who works at a local lodge where the couple was staying.

The tourists allegedly stole a Blackberry Z10 phone and $600 cash. Kruger and Van Rooyn were arrested at a local bar by police detectives where the stolen phone’s battery and $170 was recovered from the women.

Van Rooyn pleaded guilty to the charge while Kruger said he did not know that the handbag was stolen.

“I don’t admit to all the charges. My wife jumped the durawall (sic) and I waited outside,” Kruger said.

“I did not plan to steal anything, but when my wife jumped out she was in possession of a handbag.
“She gave it to me and ordered me to take the money and the cellphone and we threw the handbag away.

“I beg the courts to forgive us. We are tourists and we have to go back home. My wife is asthmatic and she is on medication she cannot cope well in prison.”

Van Rooyn told the court that she was trying to raise money to fly back home after blowing all her cash on expensive beer and other activities around the resort town.

Rosemani remanded the two in custody to August 26 for continuation of trial.