Suspected thief gets a beating

2014-07-03 00:00

SYDENHAM residents fed up with a spike in crime in their area, allegedly beat up a suspected thief before calling the police.

During the early hours of Tuesday morning, the Sydenham Community Policing Forum caught a man hiding behind a fence on Butcher Road.

According to CPF chairperson ­Easlyn Young, members went on a ­45-minute manhunt for the alleged thief. “After a meeting last Thursday, we decided to patrol Sydenham on the weekend and help other residents if they are in trouble.”

Nicollette Boyles, a resident who had been a victim of crime earlier this year, claims the police usually respond hours after an incident has been reported. “When my home was broken into, police only responded over an hour later.”

Young said the men in the area caught the alleged thief and beat him up before the police got there.

It is unclear if the man has been hospitalised.

“There has been an increase in crime in the area, so we can’t wait for the police to help us,” Young said.

Resident Cyril George, whose car was stolen from from the area just two weeks ago, said people don’t even call the police when they are in trouble. “We are sick and tired of the crime here, we know police are understaffed but now we say enough is enough, we don’t want more cars stolen.”

Ward councillor of the area, Jethro Lefevre, urged residents to be patient with the police and to allow them to do their job. “There have been a spate of housebreakings and thefts in the area but members of the community can’t take things into their own hands; it is against the law.”

Police spokesperson Captain ­Thulani Zwane said residents who carry out these acts of vigilantism will be charged and dealt with accordingly. “In some cases people that have been beaten up have lost their lives,” he said.

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