Man held after several break-ins

2010-07-16 00:00

A PROPERTY owner’s tenacity led to the arrest this week of a man connected to several break-ins in Chase Valley.

The 30-year-old man was arrested after he and others evaded police and ignored several gunshot warnings on Wednesday afternoon.

The man’s luck ran out when he was caught hiding in the bush a short distance from Broom Hill Farm, where he and three others had allegedly broken in and stolen valuables a few hours earlier.

Farm owner Anton Venter (60) said he fired several shots to force the suspects to stop. But not even the two police officers could catch them as they scattered into the bush.

Said Venter, “We tried to chase after them, but they were running too fast. Even the police, who were chasing them on foot, could not catch them.

“But later police managed to catch one of them hiding in the forest.”

Venter said his farm, surrounded by thick bush in the Chase Valley area, has been broken into several times since he occupied it 20 years ago, although it is ringed by a 7 000- to 9 000-volt electric fence.

He said the criminals come from the nearby Site Eleven informal settlement near Woodlands.

After the latest break-ins, he and his foreman tracked suspects to the Otto’s Bluff Road.

On July 5, criminals broke into a cottage on the farm and stole his tenant’s flatscreen TV, radio, bedding and clothes.

On Wednesday, another cottage tenant saw people walking outside at about 6.25 am, but they jumped the electric fence and ran away, said Venter.

Venter and his foreman tried to chase after the men on foot down Parker Road, but they were nowhere to be seen.

His tenant had given him the description of the men, and the foreman later saw them walking on the Otto’s Bluff Road. “We approached them and made some small talk while waiting for the police.

“But they saw a police van approaching from far and ran away. I fired warning shots, but they ran away. One was later arrested,” said Venter.

Venter said the criminals avoid being shocked by his electric fence by digging under it, but it is still a mystery to him how they managed to jump over a live fence on Wednesday.

“Seven thousand to 9 000 volts can give you a good kick, which is why I don’t understand how they managed to go through it. I’m going to put in 50 000 volts,” he added.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan confirmed that a man was arrested in connection with the incident.

“He was linked with various housebreakings in Chase Valley,” said Jeevan.

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