Crim­i­nals be­com­ing more brazen

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WHEN pupils and staff of South­lands Sec­ondary in Chatsworth gather for the memo­rial cer­e­mony of their for­mer prin­ci­pal, Gona Pil­lay next week, they will bow their heads in prayer and re­call with pride and fond­ness her in­spir­ing role as an ed­u­ca­tor.

She was, by most ac­counts, a car­ing and gen­er­ous hu­man be­ing who went way be­yond the nor­mal call of duty to serve her stu­dents and her com­mu­nity. The glowing trib­utes paid to her over the week­end, and else­where in this pa­per, are fit­ting tes­ti­mony to this.

But what they will find dif­fi­cult to come to terms with is the chill­ing and bru­tal man­ner in which the much-loved and re­spected ed­u­ca­tion­ist lost her life – am­bushed and knifed to death in the sanc­tity of her home in Sil­ver­glen, Chatsworth, by men pos­ing as po­ten­tial buy­ers.

They will also share in the feel­ings of ut­ter grief and des­o­la­tion be­ing felt by her hus­band Lo­gie, who is still re­cov­er­ing in hospi­tal from in­juries he sus­tained in the at­tack.

Ram­pant crime is tak­ing a heavy toll on com­mu­ni­ties and as much as we try to keep our­selves and our fam­i­lies safe by build­ing high bound­ary walls and in­vest­ing in high tech alarm sys­tems, crim­i­nals ap­pear to be­com­ing more brazen by the day.

In this in­stance, it turns out the Pil­lays had been plan­ning to sell their seven-bed­room home in Sil­ver­glen so they could down­size and move into a smaller prop­erty they had al­ready pur­chased.

It is al­leged an es­tate agent phoned the Pil­lays ahead of the at­tack to say “buy­ers” wanted to view the prop­erty. But they ob­vi­ously had other more mur­der­ous in­ten­tions in mind.

Ar­rests have been made and jus­tice will have to take its course.

But if any­thing has to be learnt from this tragic episode, it’s the re­minder that crim­i­nals tend to see se­nior cit­i­zens who live alone as easy tar­gets for their evil deeds.

Se­niors very of­ten find them­selves vic­tims of crim­i­nals pos­ing as work-seek­ers; of­fer­ing to do gar­den­ing or home re­pairs; and some­times even pos­ing as elec­tric­ity me­ter read­ers so they can gain un­law­ful ac­cess to a prop­erty.

It is im­por­tant that peo­ple are mind­ful that these crimes can and do oc­cur and to take pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sures against them. One way of do­ing this is by sys­tem­at­i­cally elim­i­nat­ing any­thing that could give a po­ten­tial crim­i­nal a bet­ter op­por­tu­nity to com­mit a crime against you.

Be on guard at all times and aware of the po­ten­tial dan­gers in the home.

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