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2016-12-20 06:01
The Asibambani Youth Village on Klip Road has been a target for criminals throughout the year with the most recent break ins spanning over the space of a weekend.   PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

The Asibambani Youth Village on Klip Road has been a target for criminals throughout the year with the most recent break ins spanning over the space of a weekend. PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

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Children form Lotus River were left with dampened spirits this year after the Asibambani Youth Village in Klip Road, Lotus River, was burgled thrice in the space of a weekend.

Ex-councillor Leslie Isaacs who is a stakeholder at the youth centre, situated just behind the closed down Lotus River Clinic, says the centre has been a target of burglaries all year.

“We have 12 case numbers for this entire year already. The recent burglaries were all over one weekend and it has really been a setback,” Isaacs says.

According to Isaacs, the most recent burglaries occurred on the weekend of Friday 2 to Sunday 4 December.

“They took everything that was in the youth village. They got away with three computer boxes, gardening tools that was used for the gardening project for our youth, stationery, kitchen utensils and equipment and one of our industrial sewing machines were also vandalised. It’s like these criminals want the same thing to happen to this centre that happened to the clinic and it is tragic,” Isaacs says.

According to him, residents in the area also know where the goods have been stored or sold but they are “not getting assistance from the police”.

“Some of the people in the community know exactly who these criminals are that are stealing from our children and it is quite sad and tragic that we have to go through this. These thieves have ripped off the burglar bars that were fixed to the wall outside and have smashed out the windows to gain entry into the centre. We called the police but in the end we had to go to the police station ourselves,” he says.

According to Isaacs, a detective was only later assigned to the cases of burglary that occurred earlier this month.

“Ever since then we have received information and want to relay it to the detective but he has not been available. If they are serious about helping us I am sure we would have many arrests by now,” Isaacs says.

He says the saddest part about ending off their holiday programme for the youth last week was when they had to tell the children “we have no gifts for you and we have no food for you because it has all been stolen,” Isaacs says.

He adds they have requested for the police to patrol and increase visibility in the vicinity but says nothing has been done yet.

“The only people we can count on is the neighbourhood watches who come out here at night and we are truly grateful for that. But to date, the police have not increased visibility.”

Grassy Park station commander Colonel Shawn van Wyk says he has communicated with Isaacs after receiving the complaint.

He also confirms they have registered two cases of house break ins at the station in relation to this case.

“We sent a police van out to the premises after the complaint was received. Since then I received no further communication from Isaacs. We would love to assist them with this issue and I urge them to contact me so we may assist further,” Van Wyk says.

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