Residents act on break-ins

2009-09-07 00:00

A SPATE of robberies in the Prestbury area has prompted residents to band together for security.

In the space of seven days (between August 26 and September 1), eight homes were broken into, including that of the Lammas family, who were sleeping when robbers smashed windows to gain entry to their home on August 26, setting the alarm off in the process.

“When I went to check what was happening, I saw the robber passing stuff to his accomplice outside,” Fred Lammas said.

“When he finished, he tried to open the door to the lounge and I stopped him. He then reached into his pocket as if he was carrying a weapon and I stepped back. I didn’t want to be stabbed or shot.”

He added that what made the incident even more traumatic was that he and his wife had family visiting from the United Kingdom, all of whom had to undergo trauma counselling after the incident.

Lammas’s home was one of three broken into in Linwood Drive that night — and he and his neighbours now believe their road and others nearby are being targeted by a gang whose modus operandi is to gain entry to properties via the rear gardens, either from the railway line or the plantation.

Unwilling to simply be crime statistics, the Linwood Drive residents organised a meeting yesterday to discuss the robberies and what they could do to combat them.

After a lively debate, those present took the first steps to start a residents’ security association and to set up neighbourhood-watch style cells, which will act as an early warning system if any suspicious-looking characters are seen loitering in the area.

They are also considering following in the steps of residents in Oak Park and getting a security company to patrol the area permanently.

As one resident put it: “I think people would rather be woken up at two in the morning by the security company than have people break into their homes.”

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