Public Eye (South Africa)

Residents fed-up with crime


Residents in the northern areas feel like prisoners in their homes as thieves freely enter properties stealing anything they can get their hands on.

A homeowner was left further traumatise­d after discoverin­g that the intruder had defecated on the patio.

In numerous videos circulatin­g on community watch chat groups, brazen burglars are seen scouting properties for a few seconds to find a way to enter. Many of the properties have high walls, gates and fencing, but the thieves are able to scale them and jump over. In one video, a man tries to scare a dog away with his shoes, but as the dog does not relent, he leaves.

In another video, a suspect scouts the property for a few seconds and waits as vehicles pass by before jumping in. The suspect casually walks around in the yard and leaves a few seconds later with an extension cord reel.

These incidents occur during the day.

An Egret Road resident, who asked not to be named, said there is an incident every day.

“We are living in a jail in our homes. We can’t just go outside. We don’t know who might be lurking there. They steal anything of value, from copper pipes to taps and outside lights. The other day, they cut the fuel line of a van and stole diesel from it. This is how intense it is becoming. I have been living here for over 20 years and we are now living in fear. They don’t fear the cameras or the dogs, they don’t fear anything. This is happening during the day, all the time,” said the resident.

A grandmothe­r from Muniredy Road, who did not want to named out of fear of victimisat­ion, said she scared a man away when he tried to enter her neighbour’s property.

“I watched from my dining room window, a teenager tried to get into my neighbour’s property. I saw him throwing his shoes at the dog and when I shouted, he stopped what he was doing and said he was begging. Then he walked around the area for a few minutes and left. This was around 8.30 am. It happens everyday. We have to lock up and stay in; they fear nothing. We are the ones living in fear,” said the grandmothe­r.

Community activist, Rajesh Ramnunan, who has started numerous crime watch groups, said that the groups assist residents to call for help and it keeps them informed of what is happening.

“If there is a burglary or someone needs help they place it on the groups and they are able to get assistance. There was once a woman who was almost raped and she put a message on one of the groups and she got help. Crime is on the rise and incidents happen every day.

“Suspects get what they want from our homes and once they run away there’s nothing we can do to get it back. They take items that can easily be sold to a scrapyard. Another issue is that teenagers are stealing so that they can buy drugs. This is getting out of hand,” said Ramnunan.

A Dunveria resident who did not want to be named said her home was broken into a month ago and one of the burglars defecated on her patio.

“We can’t go outside, we don’t let our children play outside. This is the first time in my life where I feel like they are literally in our faces all the time. We even have discussed strategies should something happen while we are at home.

“Two weeks ago I just finished hanging up the washing and as I came inside, I saw this man walking around my yard. I shouted at him and he just casually jumped over into the neighbour’s yard and left. He didn’t even run!

Continues on page 7.

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