Robbers target busy robots

2015-05-05 07:18
Motorists are cautioned to be vigilant at the intersection of Prince George Drive and De Waal Road due to smash-and-grab attacks at the intersection.

Chevon booysen

Motorists are cautioned to be vigilant at the intersection of Prince George Drive and De Waal Road due to smash-and-grab attacks at the intersection. PHOTO: Chevon booysen

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Motorists have been cautioned to be vigilant at the intersection of De Waal Road and Prince George Drive.

This comes after a spate of smash-and-grab incidents at the intersection.

Motorists have also noticed suspicious people loitering near the robots.

One motorist who did not want to be named out of fear of victimisation says he uses the intersection frequently and has always been on the lookout there.

“These unsavoury characters walk around here all day and you have to be so careful when you approach a robot. There are too many easy spots for them to hide when they want to catch on this activity,”.

He adds he has not been a victim of a smash-and-grab incident at the intersection yet, but he believes men hang around the robot “just waiting for their prey”.

“They make as if they are begging at the traffic lights but when they pass your car they can check what’s inside and quite easily rob you of your possessions if you do not stash it out of sight,” he stresses.

Another motorist, who also did not want to be named, says she has been a victim of smash-and-grab attacks twice already.

“The first time it happened along Weltevreden Road which I also use quite often. The second time I was targeted at the De Waal Road intersection,” she says.

Asked why she did not put away her personal belongings so that she would not have a repeat of the previous incidents she says she is more careful only now.

“You know what they say: Once bitten, twice shy. Unfortunately I let it happen a second time, but now I even warn my friends and family to be very careful when they approach deserted robots. I now coast towards a traffic light instead of having to wait at a known smash-and-grab spot,” she says.

Diep River police spokesperson Warrant Officer Keith Chandler says only one incident has been reported at the station.

“We were informed of the incident and this occurred just less than a month ago. It was an isolated incident,” he says.

Chandler says he went to the intersection himself to monitor the situation.

“Normally there are informal traders that operate their businesses at the intersection. This includes fruit and vegetable vendors as well as an exhaust welding business. These people use the rocks for their stands and once business is over for the day they pack it up again,” Chandler says.

He adds that one “cannot assume that the rocks are being used for criminal intent if there is no proof”.

“We also cannot assure that the rocks are being used for this purpose. It is also very difficult lifting fingerprints off a rock due to the texture.”

Chandler confirms one smash-and-grab attack at another intersection was registered at the station.

“We received one case of a smash-and-grab incident that occurred at the intersection between Prince George Drive and Link Road. A case of malicious damage to property was opened at our station,” he says. V

Anyone with more information relating to smash-and-grab incidents at the intersection or any other information can contact Warrant Officer Steven Lewis on 021 710 7347.


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