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OMG! There is a beer can on my pavement. They are coming to rob me.

10 June 2014, 07:36

One of the silliest and enduring legends in South African suburbia is that of the strategically placed refuse on the pavement. This legend, which is repeated time and again in the newsletters of Police Community Forums and Caxton knock-and-drop papers, goes like this.

House breaking and robber gangs send out scouts to case houses in suburban streets. When they identify likely targets they mark the properties by strategically placing beer or drinks cans, plastic bottles, empty cigarette packets or fast food packaging on the pavement in a certain configuration. The robber/burglary gang then come around later, identify the target house by these markers and rob them.

The stupidity was once repeated by none other then the CEO of Chubb security a few years back to terrify residents into subscribing to his company's services.

Why are there so many gullible people who cannot think logically and realise just what a stupid idea this is?

  • What if the wind or a schoolboy walking by kicked the beer can down the road in front of the house of an GAD, gun toting, Oscar attitude maniac with three Rottweillers and a Yorkshire terrier?

  • What if a car drove past and the driver threw a beer can on the gun toting, rottweiller owning manics pavement?

  • What if the council street cleaners came by and cleared the pavements of refuse? They actually do that occasionally.

  • Why would the scouts not simply note down the street numbers of the target homes on their smartphones of write them on the back of a cigarette packet and give the information ot the robbers? Much more secure method than placing refuse.

  • Why do the robbers need to have scouts anyway? They can walk down the road themselves noting down the likely targets.

South Africans are a nation of littering pigs. My road is used as a rat run during peak periods and our pavements are regularly littered with drinks cans, bottles, cigarette packets, plastic bags, fast food packaging, cups and cutlery, used tampons and sweet wrappers so if this legend is to be believed we should all be terrified of an attack at any moment.

The whole idea is moronic and it is about time that the anxiety disordered Police Forum members, Caxton Newspapers and the security companies stopped propagating horse excrement.

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