Thieves target local crèche

2018-07-12 06:00
In the latest incident last month, the kitchen sink was stolen and Mathiso went to a local scrapyard to recover the item.

In the latest incident last month, the kitchen sink was stolen and Mathiso went to a local scrapyard to recover the item.

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A local crèche is being stripped by unscrupulous vandals who will stop at nothing to get what they want.

Since November last year Sijonge Phambili in Lwandle has fallen prey to the brazen acts of criminals a staggering 12 times. And owner Lizzy Mathiso is at her wits’ end as she feels her school and its children are under attack, having lost almost everything during the break-ins.

The 53-year-old, who has been operating the early childhood development centre since 1995, says the vandals have stolen everything – from the food supplies meant to feed the children to the electricity cables and the kitchen sink.

The most recent break-in occurred on Monday 25 June.

“The incidents, where my crèche is cleaned out, usually take place at night. During the last break-in the suspects took the kitchen sink,” a distraught Mathiso said.

On a mission to get her stolen goods back, she went to a local scrapyard and found the sink there. “I told the guy at the scrapyard that it belongs to me and, should they not give it back, I would return with the police to collect it,” she recalled, adding that the sink was eventually returned to her.

The children were forced to work and play in darkness after the electric cables and box were stolen along with the burglar bars and safety gate.

According to Mathiso, the culprits first gained access to the premises by jumping the fence, but have since lifted a section of the fencing for easier access. “I have told the parents about the break-ins and they are worried that the criminals may one day decided to hit in broad daylight,” she says.

“I really don’t know what I have done to deserve this; if I did something that offended someone, please tell me so that I can apologise. There have been times when I considered closing the crèche; perhaps this decision will make the perpetrators happy.”

Captain JP du Toit, acting station commander for Lwandle police, confirmed all 12 incidents have been reported to the police, adding that they have increased patrols in the area. “I have requested that regular patrols are conducted in the area and I have personally patrolled the area when I am available,” he said.

No arrests have been made, says Du Toit, who calls on the community to come forward with any information which may lead to the arrest of the suspects. Lwandle police can be called on 021 845 2060.

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