Midnight raid floods hotspot

2015-10-20 06:00
Hundreds of officers flooded Eastridge from 01:30 to 10:00 on Thursday, resulting in several arrests and contraband confiscations. The officers conducted stop and searches, executed search warrants, did random firearm inspections, held vehicle checkp

Hundreds of officers flooded Eastridge from 01:30 to 10:00 on Thursday, resulting in several arrests and contraband confiscations. The officers conducted stop and searches, executed search warrants, did random firearm inspections, held vehicle checkp

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In the dead of night the streets became alive with the sound of combat boots.

Hundreds of officers from all over the province were deployed to Eastridge on Thursday morning last week as part of Operation Fiela.

From 01:30 to 10:00 members of different police units, metro police, law enforcement and provincial traffic joined Mitchell’s Plain police in carrying out a cordon and search operation between Katdoring and Tierboskat streets, Spine Road and Zebra Crescent.

Mitchell’s Plain station commander Brigadier Cass Goolam says he had requested assistance in the area as it was identified as a hotspot.

“I initiated the operation following a rise in crime in that sector. We found Eastridge, predominantly Zebra Crescent, was a hotspot,” he explains.

The operation focused on finding firearms, drugs and wanted suspects and stopping gang activity.

Several homes were searched.

Goolam explains that this was done to minimise the risk of suspects getting away.

“What we find is that through social media other suspects get sensitised to the presence of police and hide their [contraband] or have a chance to escape. It is best to hit all and neutralise the target, giving the officers the time to investigate and thoroughly search the home,” he says.

He says he is happy with the outcome of the operation and is most pleased with the confiscation of firearms and ammunition.

ArrestsDuring the eight-hour operation, 57 houses were searched for drugs, three vehicle checkpoints were held, 40 vehicles were searched and 207 people were stopped and searched.

Eleven premises where licenced firearms are held were visited with no irregularities found, says Captain FC van Wyk, provincial police spokesperson.

“A total of 12 mandrax tablets, nine stoppe dagga, 72 dagga sticks, one big dagga tree and 20 tik packets were confiscated,” he says.

“Eleven traffic fines to the value of R16 900 were issued.

“Fifteen suspects were arrested on separate cases, including theft, possession of dagga, mandrax, stolen property, hijacked vehicles, unlicensed firearms and ammunition, imitation firearms and house-breaking and car-breaking implements, shoplifting, attempted murder and the cultivation of dagga.”

Of the 15, two men were arrested in Zebra Crescent for the possession of firearms.

At about 02:42 the members of the operation recovered a Nicro 9mm pistol with a magazine with four rounds of ammunition. A 50-year-old man was arrested.

In another search, at about 03:20, members confiscated a pistol with a magazine and 15 rounds of ammunition, resulting in the arrest of a 37-year-old man.

Later that morning, at about 04:15, the officers executed a search warrant in Sentinel Street, Tafelsig. They discovered 10 packets of tik, 10 mandrax half-tablets, a black pistol and ammunition hidden inside the house

Two suspects, a man and a woman, aged 38 and 50 years, were arrested.

Officers also arrested several wanted suspects as part of the operation.

All the arrested suspects have subsequently appeared in court on related charges.

Goolam says the successes achieved are as a direct result of partnerships with the safety structures in the area and community members.

“I am increasingly concerned about the community in the vicinity of Zebra Crescent who seemingly support crime,” he says.

He urges residents to get involved in the fight against crime and report illegal activity to the police.

He adds that operations will intensify as we get closer to the festive season.

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