Ninja’ thief warn­ing

Grocott's Mail - - NEWS - By SUE MACLENNAN

“Iwant to be the last per­son this hap­pens to,” was Rhodes PhD stu­dent Michaelone Vaal­tyn’s re­ac­tion to be­ing bur­gled while she was asleep in her bed.

Vaal­tyn, who shares a house in Ex­ten­sion 10, woke up last Sun­day morn­ing to find the door open, and the cell­phone she slept with un­der her pil­low miss­ing, along with her tablet, her cousin’s cell­phone, a watch, sev­eral pairs of shoes and her purse with all her bank, ID and ac­cess cards.

She's ter­ri­fied the silent 'Ninja' bur­glars will re­turn and wants to warn other res­i­dents to be ex­tra care­ful.

There had been signs some­thing was amiss, Vaal­tyn told Gro­cott's Mail.

“Last week, my cousin kept say­ing she was notic­ing shad­ows out­side the win­dow. Then on Thurs­day, I woke up around 2 in the morn­ing when some bricks stacked un­der my win­dow fell over.”

Vaal­tyn, a bio­chemist do­ing can­cer re­search, spent last Satur­day work­ing on cam­pus and re­turned home around 10pm. She fi­nally got to bed around mid­night. She reads aca­demic texts be­fore she goes to sleep and uses her phone to Google-search for terms she doesn’t yet know.

“I read a page and a half, then put my phone un­der the pil­low and went to sleep,” Vaal­tyn said.

The next morn­ing she woke up late, in a panic, at 8.45am. “But I knew I’d set my phone alarm for 7.”

That’s when she re­alised her phone was miss­ing. The pieces started to fit to­gether - the front door and her son’s cup­board door were open, a jug on the floor. Her cousin, un­til then still asleep in the other room, was just as puz­zled - and the shock set in. “That’s when we re­alised we we’d been bro­ken into,” Vaal­tyn said.

Frus­tra­tion fol­lowed as she re­ported the bur­glary at the po­lice sta­tion - only to be told the of­fi­cer couldn’t come im­me­di­ately be­cause all staff were re­quired at a fight go­ing on in Ex­ten­sion 9.

“To be fair, the con­sta­ble was sin­cerely try­ing to help and she did apol­o­gise,” Vaal­tyn said. But she couldn’t wait at home for the cops.

“I was do­ing an ex­per­i­ment I couldn’t put on hold, so it was only the next day when I could be there when the of­fi­cer came,” said the sci­en­tist, who feels she could have re­ceived bet­ter at­ten­tion.

Vaal­tyn has ques­tions, too, about the thieves’ mo­dus operandi.

“I am a very light sleeper and it’s un­usual I didn’t wake up,” she said. “And to think they even took my phone from un­der the pil­low I was ly­ing on. What did they use to make me stay in such a deep sleep?

“”What if I’d wo­ken up while they were in the house?” she asked. “How do they do this – they’re like in­vis­i­ble nin­jas?” She also has a warn­ing and a plea. “Make sure your house is se­cure,” Vaal­tyn said. “Make sure you’ve got bur­glar guards, and a bolt for your door.”

She be­lieves the thieves pushed a thin piece of metal along­side the door frame to force open the latch.

“I would also like to, ask the com­mu­nity, please don’t buy stolen goods,” Vaal­tyn said. “Of­ten you are sup­port­ing drug ad­dicts to con­tinue their habits, be­cause they are of­ten the ones do­ing this kind of theft.

“And just think – what if it was you or your chil­dren who had your home bro­ken into?”

“As an un­em­ployed stu­dent work­ing hard to make ends meet, all those things that was taken I’ve worked hard to get and for most of it I am still pay­ing ac­counts.

She urged Gra­ham­stown res­i­dents to stand to­gether and put a stop to crime in the town. In a Face­book post Vaal­tyn wrote that, “Crime in Gra­ham­stown is be­com­ing so pop­u­lar th­ese days that peo­ple think it is nor­mal.

She also said, “Our po­lice should also as­sist and give proper ser­vices, so we can feel saver in our homes… but I am happy to still be alive to tell the tale and hope­fully alert ev­ery­one else and pre­vent it from hap­pen­ing again.”

No re­ply had been re­ceived to our re­quest for com­ment from the SAPS by the time of go­ing to press.


* A Mo­bi­cell tablet (IMEI 352638082394038) * A small black Huawei Y3 lite (IMEI 869456021644156) * A Huawei Mate 7 phone (black with cracks on the screen, IMEI 865276024345597) * Three pairs of Adidas shoes (one black with white and black soles, lime or­ange and white soles, and pink and black trail run­ner takkies) * Cream Dakota shoes * A gold Tempo watch * A black Adidas bag * The purse (red with sil­ver pat­tern in front) con­tain­ing ID, ac­cess and bank cards. ...RE­PORT IT TO THE JOZA PO­LICE or call Vaal­tyn at 073 480 4402/ 060 522 0780.

Maclennan Photo: Sue

Michaelone Vaal­tyn is ter­ri­fied af­ter 'Ninja' bur­glars raided her home while she was sleep­ing.

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