Citizen Arrest: Johannesburg Woman Brings Phone Thief Into Car

A Johannesburg woman nearly lost her cell phone to a passerby with long fingers, but she manages to defend herself and prevent the thief from escaping. Security cameras from a nearby facility captured the incident and the footage was eventually released on social media.

There are reports that the incident took place last month and community members helped the woman apprehend the man and handed him over to the police.


In the video clip, which has since gone viral, the woman walks down a street in Johannesburg lined with several cars. She doesn’t seem to pay much attention to her surroundings, probably because she’s busy with the cell phone in her hand.

There is a slow moving vehicle behind her – following her very clearly but she doesn’t seem to notice. Around the 14 second mark – about halfway through the video clip – the potential thief appears in the frame.

He walks over to the woman and when he’s neck and neck with her, he throws himself on his phone and snatches it from her hands. He bumps into her as he tries to escape, causing her to spin. The woman, however, reacts quickly and sets off after the robber who is running towards the car behind her.

One of the occupants of the vehicle opens the passenger side rear door from the inside and the robber attempted to enter the car but before he could do so, the woman slammed the door. The robbers’ accomplices immediately rushed in when the woman touched the door and abandoned him.

The woman and the thief both rise from the ground – they fell after the car rushed over – and the fight continues. The thief limps and it looks like he was injured when the door slammed. This is where the video clip ends.

Video: Twitter / @crimeairnetwork


A News24 report sheds some more light on what happened next. Police spokesman Captain Mavela Masondo said community members helped the woman hunt down the thief and eventually apprehended him.

The police were summoned to the scene and the suspect was taken to the Booyens police station where he was convicted of armed robbery.


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