Crime surge in peaceful Plett neighbourhood
Plettenberg Bay crime fighters have intensified efforts in the town’s Poortjies area after a series of criminal activity in the usually tranquil neighbourhood over the past week.
Since Friday, July 7, several incidents ranging from vehicle break-ins to burglaries were reported.
The first happened during the early morning hours of Friday when suspects broke into a vehicle in Strydom Street at about 04:00. Various items including a soft briefcase were stolen and later recovered by residents in the bushes behind a property in Susan Street.
According to the Plettenberg Bay Crime Prevention Association (PBCPA), at about 20:00 on the same day there was a burglary at a home in Susan Street. The suspect escaped through a bushy field and fled the area over the N2. Some of the stolen goods were dropped while fleeing and recovered by authorities.
The following morning, at about 01:00, intruders were spotted on a property in Plato Road but jumped over a fence into a neighbouring property. Various PBCPA members responded along with ADT, local law enforcement members, Plett Security, Plett Watch volunteers, Prime Security and Smhart Alarms.
An intensive search of the area was conducted but without success.
At about 04:00, law enforcement officers however arrested a suspect who had various house and car keys as well as remote controls, in his possession. The origin of the keys is still being determined.
Otto Olivier, PBCPA operational head, said that it has become apparent that criminals are entering and exiting the Poortjies area through an open field near Plettenberg Bay Primary School.
“These guys know exactly where the area’s cameras are and they are deliberately avoiding them to gain access to the area undetected,” Olivier said.
He added that while authorities regularly do patrols in the area, operations have been bolstered over the past week.
He said that the PBCPA is also working on upgrading about four cameras, which in turn would increase the coverage in the area.
The PBCPA control room is also undergoing a revamp, he said, which would enable it to add more cameras to their operations.
Olivier cautioned that residents in the area should be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour.
He also warned residents again not to leave any items in their vehicles as this increased the risk of becoming a target for these criminals. “People still leave things in cars like GPSs and other valuables. We need to change this behaviour in order to successfully stop these criminals.”
Olivier said that residents, where possible, should also park their vehicles inside their properties or in their garages at night.