Thieves targeted burning St Francis homes

2012-11-14 08:39
A home that was destroyed by the fire in St Francis Bay. (Bev Mortimer,  <a href=\http://stfrancischronicle.com/2012/11/12/ruined-ghost-town-on-the-canals/\><b>St Francis Chronicle</b></a>)

A home that was destroyed by the fire in St Francis Bay. (Bev Mortimer, St Francis Chronicle)

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Burned homes declared a no-go area

2012-11-13 13:21

The burned down homes in St Francis Bay have been declared a no-go area. Watch.WATCH

Port Elizabeth - While houses were burning down in St Francis Bay, thieves were ransacking properties and stealing possessions.

Residents told Beeld that thieves struck the coastal resort before the flames were even put out, moving among firefighters and leaving with boats and jetskis.

“The firefighters thought they were owners or neighbours trying to save possessions and didn’t give it further thought,” said a resident from a temporary shelter set up for those who had lost homes.

“It was only when [someone] parked in a firefighting vehicle and wouldn’t leave that some firefighters became suspicious,” he said.

Resident Edith Defossez told how they left to have breakfast with friends the morning after the fire and on their return saw that possessions not damaged by the fire had been stolen.

“A woman told how she saw two women carry the beds out. When she asked them what they were doing, they said they were carrying them out to dry them. Those beds are gone now.”

Other residents revealed how chairs, fishing gear and other possessions that had been in the ruined houses one day and were gone the next.

A police spokesperson said no charges had been laid but that they had found people in possession of goods not belonging to them.

These had been returned to the owner and no one was arrested as no charges had been laid.

Read more on:    port elizabeth  |  st francis bay fire  |  fires
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