Gang targeting Pietermaritzburg businesses

2015-07-16 10:07
(File, News24)

(File, News24)

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Pietermaritzburg - Businesses in the lower Pietermaritzburg CBD appear to have become the targets of a gang of burglars, with five companies becoming victims since Thursday night.

It is believed that the same gang of burglars is behind the spate of business break-ins, making off with valuables and cash.

The gang, said to be comprised of “professional” burglars, has thus far escaped with almost R100 000 in cash from businesses along Victoria, Greyling, Retief and Hoosen Haffejee streets.

According to the cases opened at the Pietermaritzburg police station, the burglars are thought to be from the same criminal gang comprised of three men and a driver. However, separate incidents with variations in the number of ­burglars in the same area have also been reported.

The first business was burgled on Thursday evening.

According to a police report, when a member of management arrived at D Europe Motors on Friday morning, he discovered a broken window at the premises.

A DVD player, laptop, torch and over R19 000 in cash was stolen.

On Sunday, Coastal Hire in Victoria Street also came under attack.

According to owner Frank Currie, the burglars entered his property in a previous incident on Sunday, July 5, but left without stealing anything.

However, last Sunday the men returned and stole a pressure cleaner, a sanding machine, a computer and a drill.

“They were in and out in three minutes. They are clearly professionals and know what they are doing. They obviously came to do [reconnaissance] first before the burglary on Sunday,” Currie said.

He said his CCTV footage showed a vehicle reverse to his front door. Three men dressed in hoodies and gloves and carrying bolt-cutters get out.

They then use the bolt-cutters to enter the premises and storm off three minutes later.

“There were no fingerprints and we could not identify them. We have installed more security since then,” Currie said.

The police report made by Currie stated that R80 600 in cash was also taken.

On Monday, two businesses were burgled in Retief and Hoosen Haffejee streets.

The owner of the business in Retief Street, who asked for neither her company nor herself to be named, described the same modus operandi.

“Three men broke through a glass door and were in and out in under five minutes.”

The burglars made off with appliances and a small amount of cash.

Denson’s Wholesalers also fell victim to the burglars over the weekend.

According to a police report, the owner locked the property and activated the alarm after business hours on Friday.

When he returned on Monday, he found that two safes, a till drawer and R5 000 in cash was stolen.

According to the report, entrance to the property was “gained through the wall”.

The owner could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

In the most recent burglary, Hi-Q Tyre and Tube was burgled by one man.

One tyre was stolen in that incident.

The police spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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