Be vigilant against crime

2015-09-22 06:00

Following several break-ins in Pinelands, residents were left questioning their safety and asking themselves what to do in case of a break-in.

Two weeks ago five houses were broken into within an hour with the same modus operandi. It has come to light that most of the homes targeted have armed response companies and the alarms were activated at the time.

The alarm LED light, which shows that the alarm is activated, is visible from the street making it easy for the burglars to plan their move.

These break-ins happened around the same time and most homes were in darkness, showing no signs of anyone being at home. The perpetrators ring door bells and, when not answered, get confirmation that no-one is home.

Residents are urged not to leave their rubbish bins outside the whole day, which is also an indication that nobody has come home. Also the mere act of not clearing the post box showed that there was no-one at home, giving the buglers an opportunity to break in.

Some of the houses that were broken into had very “light” drive way gates and other security gates with no anti-lift brackets.

Pinelands Police regard the crowbar-style invasion as serious and would like to assure all residents that everything possible is being done to reduce these incidents. Pinelands Station Commander Lieutenant Colonel Helena Mouton confirmed the break-ins but said there is nothing to worry about. “With everything being on the social media it’s easy to say crime is out of hand but it’s not the case. The incidents of break- ins is happening everywhere and we have sharpened out patrols there is nothing to worry about. No one has been arrested yet but since that incident they haven’t come back. We are also urging members of the community to be vigilant and report any suspicious activities.”

Pinelands Neighbourhood watch says residents should also play their part in the prevention of these incidents.

Peter Anders, chairman of the Pinelands neighbourhood watch, urged residents to be vigilant and safe.

“In the event that you are at home during a house robbery, please do not resist. Nothing that you own is more valuable than your life. Have an emergency plan in place, or a safe room and some means of communication other than your cellphone,” he says. He also shared some to-do items to ensure safety:

1. Become involved in your community. Report suspicious people and vehicles.

2. Criminals do not want to get caught. Use timing devices to switch lights on and off. Hide the LED alarm light so that it is not visible from the outside. If you are at home, make sure that it is obvious. Have lights on, and always answer if someone rings the doorbell – but don’t open the door unless you know you are safe.

3. Fit anti-lift brackets on your gates.

4. Always answer the doorbell if it is rung. If no-one replies and you can’t see anyone, do not go outside. Call security.

5. Don’t leave your home in darkness.

6. Don’t leave your bin out at all

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