TWO tourists whose nationality remains a mystery are set to be deported after they perform community service for theft.
David Ernie Kruger (32) and Mitchell van Rooyen (34) appeared before Victoria Falls resident magistrate Sharon Rosemani facing theft charges involving a handbag and laptop.
Kruger and van Rooyen claim to be citizens of Canada, France and South Africa and their destination in Zimbabwe also remains unclear as they keep changing their statements.
They claim that their passports were lost. Prosecutor Takunda Ndovorwi said on August 10 at around 3pm Nicola Jayne Finaughty of West Drive suburbs left her handbag in a Nissan twin cab vehicle parked in her yard.
Kruger and van Rooyen hatched a plan to steal her handbag while she was in the house.
Van Rooyn jumped over the security wall while Kruger stood guard at the gate. She broke the front left window and took Finaughty’s khaki handbag.
Van Rooyen threw the handbag to Kruger before they fled.
The handbag contained a Blackberry Z10 cellphone and $600 cash.
Kruger and Van Rooyen were arrested at a local bar by police detectives where only the cellphone’s battery and $317 were recovered from van Rooyen.
The State proved that on the same night that she was arrested, Kruger was searched by police detectives and an HP laptop was found on him.
On being questioned, he claimed to have bought the laptop from an unknown person in Bulawayo, but investigations proved that it belonged to Chafferfly Company.
The company said the laptop was stolen from its offices on the night of July 24 and the theft had been reported at the Mzilikazi Police Station.
Kruger and van Rooyen pleaded guilty to theft.
In mitigation, the couple first told Rosemani that they were from France, but later said they were from Canada and they had stolen to raise money for air tickets as they desperately wanted to return home.
Kruger was handed a fine of $100 or 10 weeks imprisonment and on the second offence he was fined $100 or three months imprisonment.
Rosemani said the couple should be deported after they pay the fines and perform community service.