Cameras catch crooks

2017-10-03 06:05

Criminals are in the cross hairs in Sea Point as the licence plate recognition (LPR) camera network has led to eight arrests in just one week.

On Monday last week a wanted car was spotted in the area-wide camera network. The car had been used in a theft at an eatery on Main Road the day before. It is alleged three women had walked into the restaurant and stolen a customer’s handbag from behind her chair.

LPR project manager Jacques Weber, who was driving along Main Road when the Sea Point City Improvement District (CID) LPR control room sent out the alert, responded and intercepted the car.

Multiple vehicles of the Sea Point CID and Sea Point police also responded, and they pulled over the car in Arthurs Road and arrested the occupants.

On Sunday 17 September, the LPR camera room sent the LPR response team after a possibly wanted car that had driven into the suburb.

The car was pulled over by Sea Point police and the occupants were taken to the police station for further investigation.

Three weeks ago, a theft had occurred at a building site in Bantry Bay.

“Unfortunately, there was little information to go on other than the day and possible time period that the theft had occurred. This, however, did not stop the Sea Point CID LPR controller from reviewing hours of footage from the various cameras around the location of the crime and piece together a list of possible suspected cars,” says ­Weber.

“The controller was then able to zone in on each vehicle’s whereabouts and cross off those vehicles that did not fit the timeline or the elements of the crime.

“One vehicle stood out, as this vehicle had entered the Sea Point area with an empty load and was than detected leaving the area with a full load on it, which matched the items stolen from the building site.”

On Saturday 16 September police spotted this car on High Level Road and gave chase. The car was pulled over and the occupants arrested. “This vehicle was wanted for armed robbery in another policing district within Cape Town,” he says.

Weber and five officers responded and while searching for the car, the police officers were stopped by a member of the public who informed them that three people had just abandoned their car and were running up the road. The police gave chase and the people were arrested.

In another incident, during the early hours of Friday 15 September, the Sea Point CID controller noticed a man acting suspiciously outside a supermarket. The controller began monitoring him on the overview cameras linked to the LPR system. The man kept walking around a car, so the operator thought he was possibly going to try to break into the car.

The controller dispatched the CID response vehicles and police to the location and just then the man was seen breaking the car’s window. Despite trying to hide in the shadows of a shop front, the man was ­arrested.

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