Winter crime on the rise

2016-05-10 06:00
 Photo: supplied The scene of the shooting of a railway guard at the Old Botha’s Hill Station.

Photo: supplied The scene of the shooting of a railway guard at the Old Botha’s Hill Station.

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OVER the past few months the highway area has seen more brazen acts committed by criminals and SAPS are working around the clock to stem the tide with some successful arrests.

According to Hillcrest SAPS CPF communications officer Steven King, the Hillcrest CPF have noticed that these criminals have evolved from running away to firing at the security companies with two such incidents happening in a matter of weeks.

“From 4 May we have seen an escalation in incidents. In Crestholme a domestic worker was assaulted by suspects and when armed response officers arrived, the suspects opened fired on them,” he said.
King added that 15 minutes prior to the incident a house was burgled apparently by the same suspects.

“On the same afternoon a railway guard was attacked and shot at the Old Botha’s Hill Station . The guard was rushed to hospital in a serious but stable condition. Earlier on the same day an elderly woman living in Hillcrest was grabbed by two young men who managed to take a gold bangle from her wrist after threatening to kill her.”

King said that on 6 May crime continued with two business break-ins in Hillcrest and one business in Botha’s Hill. “SAPS had success at the Botha’s Hill incident and made an arrest. The same evening we had four burglaries within 30 minutes, three residential burglaries and one business break-in. On Saturday 7 May another break-in occurred in Assagay,” he said.

“On Sunday a house in a complex was broken into on Highbury Road, Hillcrest at about 10am and at approximately 12.30 we received a message from a woman who witnessed a hijacking in broad daylight.”

King said that according to the witness, she was sitting at a restaurant in Hillcrest and a man was hijacked in the parking lot in the pouring rain. She said that the suspects were armed and pulled him out of his Toyota twin cab bakkie as he got in.

The witness said that the area is so busy with people everywhere and despite the pouring rain the incident occurred.

“Communities will have to become more vigilant and make sure that they are not easy targets. We have seen a spike in house burglaries near the railway lines and reserve s and we suggest that residents beef up their security and look at installing beams to give them that early warning,” said King.

“Don't leave tools of opportunity lying outside and make sure all garden implements are locked away. We want to make an urgent appeal to Transnet to please sort out the security along the railway lines as the residents are being robbed and burgled virtually on a daily basis and this has forced the residents living in these areas to draw up a petition to force Transnet into getting their act together.”

King said that the residents feel Transnet has an obligation towards them in making sure that their properties don't get used as a springboard for crime as is happening at present - a resident has suffered at least a dozen burglaries and a couple of house robberies over the last year.”

However King said that he would like to commend Hillcrest SAPS acting station commander colonel Anton Myburgh and his team as well as warrant offiicer Buckthorpe and Shongweni K9 unit for their dedication and hard work in getting the suspects behind bars.
He also commended the neighbourhood watches for their dedication and support they are providing to the local police. Transet was not able to comment at the time of going to press.

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