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TWO security guards will serve four years behind bars for stealing K1.4 million cash after breaking into a company building.

The two guards broke into Gertmark Agencies Limited and made off with the money.

Senior Resident Magistrate Mwansa Chibalo said he was disturbed that people, who were entrusted with safe-keeping and security, could engaged in a criminal activity of such a magnitude.

The magistrate said such behaviour could make people lose confidence in security guards.

Benson Kapasa and Medan Mung’omba both 38, were sentenced to four years imprisonment with hard labour for breaking into a building and committing a felony therein.

On October 20, last year in Kitwe the two broke into Gertmark Agencies Limited and stole K1, 359,111.30.

The magistrate observed that it was indisputable that the two were security officers on duty at the company at the time of the incident.

He added that a safe weighing 200 kilogrammes, containing cash, was stolen at the time the two were guarding the premises.

Mr Chibalo said the two failed to tell the court where they were as the money was stolen while the third guard who was with them on duty Cephas Mwewa was on the run.

The magistrate however regretted that the police overlooked certain important aspects during investigations as they failed to lift the fingerprints from the crime scene and from the tool cutter used to cut the metal bars.

Police officers, he said, merely relied on witnesses who handed over the guards to them.

He said it could have been that the two were in the habit of deserting the premises or were directly involved in the crime. Mr Chibalo said the evidence might seem unfairly adduced on the part of the guards but it was overwhelming and the incident raised more questions than answers.

Mr Chibalo however said the circumstances were so strong and he was convinced that the prosecution had proved their case against the two guards beyond reasonable doubt.

In mitigation, the two said they were family men and if given custodial sentences their spouses and children would become homeless because they are the sole breadwinners. The magistrate however said that people who were chosen to protect property would be the ones to break and steal a huge sum of money.  He therefore sentenced them to four years imprisonment each with hard labour to deter would-be offenders

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