Hot mes­sage to crime fighter

Post - - News - CHANELLE LUTCHMAN

A PHOENIX crime fighter, whose shed and ve­hi­cle were set alight, be­lieves an al­leged lo­cal drug dealer is try­ing to “send him a mes­sage”.

The 47-year-old home­owner, who de­clined to be named, said his niece heard an un­usual sound and saw flames from her win­dow at around mid­night last Thurs­day.

“She told us and I im­me­di­ately got my fam­ily out­side. We tried to douse the flames and our neigh­bours helped but our ef­forts were in vain and we had to call the fire depart­ment,” he said.

He added that dur­ing the frenzy, he in­jured his re­main­ing eye.

About 20 years ago, hi­jack­ers shot him in the face and he lost the vi­sion in one eye.

The man be­lieves his home was tar­geted by a lo­cal drug dealer.

“Of all homes mine was tar­geted and we have been tar­geted be­fore. But all three pre­vi­ous times were break-ins and goods were taken. Thurs­day’s in­ci­dent has shaken the whole com­mu­nity,” he said.

“We are all liv­ing in fear, but I am sure it was a hit. Years back we didn’t have to lock our doors, we were safe. But re­cently, with all the drugs and crime in the area, we have to shut our doors and win­dows.”

The man, who runs a tuck shop at his home, said he might have been tar­geted be­cause another man re­cently opened a tuck shop on the street.

“I wouldn’t say I was tar­geted be­cause I am a com­mu­nity crime fighter, I think it’s more to elim­i­nate com­pe­ti­tion and send a mes­sage,” he said.

The crime fighter said due to the crime, his fam­ily had moved away some years ago and rented out their home. How­ever, their ten­ant left the res­i­dence due to crime in the area.

“When our ten­ant left, we tried to find another, but home­less peo­ple were go­ing into the yard, break­ing the doors and win­dows and sleep­ing in the house so we moved back to the home,” he said.

The fam­ily be­lieve more polic­ing is needed in com­mu­ni­ties to chase out crime.

“We need of­fi­cials to have more of a pres­ence and be much more ac­tive.

“If crim­i­nals see th­ese po­lice of­fi­cials mov­ing around and ques­tion­ing peo­ple, they would leave the area out of fear of be­ing caught,” the man said.

Po­lice spokesper­son Lieu­tenant Colonel Thu­lani Zwane said a case of ma­li­cious dam­age to prop­erty is now be­ing in­ves­ti­gated.

PICTURE: SUP­PLIED

The burnt car of a Phoenix res­i­dent, who be­lieves he was tar­geted by an al­leged lo­cal drug dealer and ri­val tuck shop owner.

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