Crime: ‘Five minute gang’ strikes again

2008-05-18 00:00

The five-minute has struck again.

This comes after two weeks of respite for residents in the Town Hill policing area, following the arrests of three suspects on May 5 as they allegedly cased a home in Montrose.

Following the arrests of the suspects, residents in Montrose, Athlone and Chase Valley breathed a sigh of relief and no further break-ins were reported in the area.

However, two homes were hit yesterday at 1.30 pm by criminals using the same modus operandi.

Police spokeswoman Inspector Joey Jeevan confirmed yesterday that a black BMW was seen leaving the scene of the two homes after the gang hit.

"In both incidents the families were not home. Cases of housebreaking have been opened."

She said the robbers derailed the gates and forced the doors open at both homes at Kingsford Avenue in Chase Valley Heights and Hosking Road in Athlone.

"There is a possibility that these incidents could be linked to the ‘five-minute gang’," said Jeevan.

A source told The Witness there is little doubt that the gang is at work again. He said the Town Hill suburbs were teeming with police yesterday afternoon following the break-ins.

He alleged that at the house in Hosking Road, a white male was seen in a silver bakkie at the time of the break-in. He was accompanied by two Seven Series black BMWs — one carrying four black men and the other two black men.

The source said that while police were busy in Kingsford Road, the home in Hosking Road was being hit.

The gang favour hi-tech appliances, cash and jewellery and appear to know exactly where safes are located.

Members enter a home, take what they came for and are gone within minutes, ignoring burglar alarms and other security measures. They allegedly use a crowbar to derail electric gates and gain entrance to homes by smashing down front doors.

Three suspects were arrested when a resident who had read about the activities of the gang in The Witness called the police after seeing three men being dropped off on the corner of Francis Staniland Road and Peter Brown Drive, and acting suspiciously.

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