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