Street robbers step up

2015-06-30 06:00
Wynberg police have increased their patrols to ensure that commuters are safe when they enter the stations, especially at the subways during the early hours of the morning and late into the evening. 
astrid februarie

Wynberg police have increased their patrols to ensure that commuters are safe when they enter the stations, especially at the subways during the early hours of the morning and late into the evening. PHOTO: astrid februarie

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The Wynberg police have increased their visibility this winter as criminals are using the linked darkness as an opportunity to pounce on unsuspected victims.

Warrant Officer Silvino Davids, spokesperson of the Wynberg police station, says the police are now patrolling the subways and the area surrounding the taxi rank as a number of robberies have been reported in these spots.

“These areas are known hotspots for the police. We are therefore increasing our visibility by being there in the early hours of the morning as well as when commuters are travelling late in the evening,” he says.

However, there are incidents where robberies have occurred during the day as people walk towards the station, on Main Road and even in the surrounding residential area.

“We are aware that robberies can occur at any time of the day and therefore urge the public to be vigilant at all times. If they do find themselves in a situation where they are being robbed, we urge them to report the crime. We also ask that the public provide as much detail about the perpetrators of the crime as this will help the police to identify the suspect,” Davids says.

During one of the most recent robberies a man was walking toward Thomas Road on Wednesday 17 June at about noon.

He was approached by another man who forced him, at knife point, to hand over his cellphone. Davids says the suspect then fled the scene on foot. The victim was unable to identify the suspect. No-one has been arrested.

In a separate incident on the same day a woman and her friend were walking in Kemms Road at about 15:15 when one of them was robbed.

“As the victim and her friend were walking a man and two other women, one of whom was pregnant, walked past them. However, the man turned back and grabbed one of the victim’s gold chains from her neck,” he says.

Davids says the victim was wearing two gold chains, but the suspect managed to grab only one. He and the two women with him fled the scene on foot. The police have not arrested anyone in connection to the robbery.

Another robbery occurred at about 13:00 that day as the complainants were walking down Mitcham Road.
The complainants were approached by two men who forced them to hand over their valuables – two cellphones.

Davids says the suspects grabbed the phones from the victims and fled the scene on foot. No arrests have been made in this case either.

Seven house burglaries were also reported in the last week, according to Davids. Two people were arrested in separate incidents.

The police also successfully arrested a suspect in connection with a hijacking incident. The hijacking occurred in Malton Road on Friday 19 June at about 07:00. The victim was at her home and her car, an Audi A3, was parked on the premises. She approached her car, unlocked it with her remote and opened the boot to store her bag.

“As she was about to leave, an unknown man with a knife came up behind her and put the knife to her neck and demanded that she hand over the car keys,” Davids says.

The suspect fled the scene in her car with her belongings in it. However, the suspect was apprehended the following day and has also been linked to other cases.
“We urge the public to report suspicious behaviour and to always be on high alert,” he says.

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