A wanted man was recently labelled “South Africa’s Dumbest Criminal” as he got arrested after applying for a job at a police station. The part-shocking, part-hilarious development was reported from South Africa’s Mpumalanga province where 40-year-old Thomas Ngcobo was arrested after being on the run for over seven years. He was reportedly a wanted for stealing hardware components worth over Rs 1 lakhs (£1,000) back in 2015.

Since then, he had been evading the local authorities. One would assume that such evasion can only be executed by a thief who is extremely sharp and assertive. But Thomas is so not that. He was arrested earlier last month when he himself approached the local police.

No, he did not surrender or make a confession. He instead applied for a police recruitment drive. Yes, you heard it right. A man, who was wanted by the police, approached the police for a job! As soon as his identity was ascertained, he was arrested, much to the bafflement of local authorities and the media. Since then, media has been running reports at Thomas’ expense, calling him the country’s “dumbest criminal”.

Earlier this month, we reported another category of thieves, who were so enthusiastic, that they started celebrating and drinking in the alcohol shop that they broke into!

The Facts of the Matter

A man in South Africa proved himself to be the antithesis of a “smooth criminal”, after he was arrested and was subsequently labelled as the “dumbest criminal” in his country’s history by the local media. The incident was reported from South Africa, where a 40-year-old suspect was arrested after he walked into a police station to apply for a job!

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The Theft & The Tricks of Thief

According to reports, 40-year-old Thomas Ngcobo from Mpumalanga was in the wanted list for being a suspect in a theft. He had allegedly stolen hardware worth over Rs 1 lakh (£1,000) back in 2015. Reportedly, he was supposed to deliver the hardware to some clients but instead delivered the shipment to other address without the consent of the owner.

A week after his theft, the authorities found out about his tricks when his manager decided to check invoices and found out that two invoices were missing and that the hardware in question was delivered to a different address.

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Thief Enters “Wanted” List

The theft was immediately reported to the Bathal South African Police Service in Mpumalanga and since then, Thomas Ngcobo was in the list of “wanted suspects”. Like most such cases, after no leads and inputs emerged in the matter, the case got cold and was put aside.

Fast Forward Five Years Later

Fast forward five years later, and much to the surprise of the local authorities, the suspect himself walked through the doors of the police station! No, he didn’t come to the authorities to confess or surrender, nor did he want to strike a deal with the police.

He wanted to ascertain why was there a delay with his job application! The suspect had given his job application for a police recruitment drive. In an interview to local media, Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said, “The suspect was unexpectedly nabbed on Monday, August 15, 2022, after he visited the Bethal SAPS to make enquiries about his application for a police recruitment drive.”

Riding high on the successful capture of Thomas, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, gave a warning to absconding suspects that there is no running away from the law.

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TN Thieves Booze in Alcohol Shop After Theft

Earlier this month, we reported about two “high on spirits” thieves, who broke into an alcohol shop, stole some cash and several bottles, and instead of fleeing, decided to celebrate at the shop itself. The two accused were later found in a drunk state by the police inside the shop. They were made to crawl out of the hole they had dug up to get inside the alcohol shop.


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