Many muggings worry locals

2016-03-22 06:00

Residents of Ottery and Lotus River are on high alert after a number of armed robberies the past week.

Although police only confirm one robbery, residents say more have taken place in the area.

One resident, who did not want to be named, says she heard about several armed robberies occurring.

“Although this isn’t a new thing happening, it is worrying that it has become so frequent now. I am worried for my safety and the safety of my children,” the woman says.

She adds she knows of two incidents in which people were robbed. She calls on the police to step in and make her community safer.

“I know of a lady who was robbed in broad daylight. They took her handbag which had all her personal belongings in.

“In the other incident a teenager was robbed but it was early evening, just after 18:00, and they took his phone,” she says.

“People are afraid to walk around in the area now. It’s like you’re a hostage in your suburb because you’re too scared of either the continuous shootings or of being robbed. These criminals are brazen,” she says.

A Facebook post on a Parkwood community group, alerting residents to the armed robberies, was spread last week.

“This notice is not to alarm you or cause fear. Rather, this is to empower you and create awareness. From Monday 14 March till Wednesday 16 we have experienced four armed robberies,” the post reads.

The post further claims that Plantation Road, Olympic Avenue, Anita Road and the field next to the day hospital were the spots targeted.

The post points out suspects are estimated to be between the ages of 16 and 24 years, adding “the robberies occur in [the] morning when people make their way to work, as well as late afternoon when those people return back home”.

Grassy Park police spokesperson Warrant Officer Wynita Kleinsmith says only one incident has been reported so far.

“Only one case of robbery was opened on Wednesday 16 March at about 13:35. The victim says he was walking on his way home when he was approached by a man known to him.

“The suspect threatened him with a blade and robbed him of the cash he had on him,” Kleinsmith says.

Police have urged community members to be more vigilant of their surroundings.

“Try not to walk alone and over fields. The community has to report criminal activities in order for the police to establish if this is a hotspot for robberies,” Kleinsmith urges. V To report any crime incidents contact police sector manager Captain Isaac Hanekom on 082 411 2470.

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