Thieves targeted burning St Francis homes

2012-11-14 08:39

Port Elizabeth - While houses were burning down in St Francis Bay, thieves were ransacking properties and stealing possessions.

Residents told Beeld that thieves struck the coastal resort before the flames were even put out, moving among firefighters and leaving with boats and jetskis.

“The firefighters thought they were owners or neighbours trying to save possessions and didn’t give it further thought,” said a resident from a temporary shelter set up for those who had lost homes.

“It was only when [someone] parked in a firefighting vehicle and wouldn’t leave that some firefighters became suspicious,” he said.

Resident Edith Defossez told how they left to have breakfast with friends the morning after the fire and on their return saw that possessions not damaged by the fire had been stolen.

“A woman told how she saw two women carry the beds out. When she asked them what they were doing, they said they were carrying them out to dry them. Those beds are gone now.”

Other residents revealed how chairs, fishing gear and other possessions that had been in the ruined houses one day and were gone the next.

A police spokesperson said no charges had been laid but that they had found people in possession of goods not belonging to them.

These had been returned to the owner and no one was arrested as no charges had been laid.

  • michael.horton.566790 - 2012-11-14 08:48

    Welcome to SA... We get kicked even if we are down. This is so sad... You loose your home and then the possessions you have left also gets stolen. We need a drastic change in government so that our economy can get back to what it was and more jobs can be created. This way, poverty can be alleviated and crime will come down...

      george.pistorius - 2012-11-14 08:59

      What can one say... - 2012-11-14 09:14

      "we" ?????? who's we?

      beverly.young3 - 2012-11-14 09:41

      Yup, thats the norm here. Ever seen a major car accident dead bodies and all? Out of nowhere they come and rob.....terrifying!!!!

      pmbadenhorst - 2012-11-14 09:45

      more like welcome to africa ....

      typersa.baddy - 2012-11-14 09:46

      Typical african mentality!!! These people already lost most of their belongings and then these scumbag excuses for human beings come and take whatever they had left!! This country needs to change ASAP!!

      vambozha.mutemi.9 - 2012-11-14 09:56

      Stephen King must just make a horror movie called South Africa...zombies burning houses then stealing, students cheating and stabbed, boys drag racing killing students, zombies attacking farmers with pangas in corn fields, ghosts hijacking, boy zombie raping granny, vampire cops shooting zombie miners...i mean like thousands zombies approaching cops at some mine dripping saliva from their mouths. Yes this will sell like a million copies before its even released!

      BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-11-14 10:32

      Yip - that didn't take long. What a disgusting state of affairs.

      kelly.reagan.90 - 2012-11-14 10:42

      Looters should be shot on sight, they are the lowest form of mankind - together with child rapists.

      Antipoaching - 2012-11-14 14:16

      Gift, this type of looting happens across the entire population spectrum... every-time there’s flooding in informal settlements some-one stays behind in the flooded house to guard against looters.. so in this instance the "we" would appear to be the wider population of South Africa irrespective of race, creed, gender or socio-economic strata

  • gavin.lott.9 - 2012-11-14 08:50


  • pen.portrait - 2012-11-14 08:52


  • debduplessis - 2012-11-14 08:52

    Sickness prevails.... the looters also steal from victims in car accidents & emergency vehicles attending crime scenes! The mentality is a sorry excuse for calling themselves human beings.... but then I guess they learning from the example set by the ruling leadership voted in!

  • Gcwabe.KaMavovo - 2012-11-14 08:53

    Makes you wonder if they didn't start the fire in the first place.

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-11-14 09:20

      Let use hop this will not become a trend. Please don’t pout ideas into these people’s minds.

  • jeremy.thewasp - 2012-11-14 08:57

    This is what one would expect when we live in a criminal state with a useless Justice system Praying on other's misery - how low can a person go... 4 of my friends have lost everything, and I mean everything, there are personal possessions they will never get sad :(

      Chris - 2012-11-14 10:50

      insurance will be a latent compensation .

  • customdesign - 2012-11-14 09:01

    Chop off their hands

      Tony - 2012-11-14 09:42

      Leave the hands - chop off the body! :)

  • mholthuysen - 2012-11-14 09:04

    Why am I not surprised - a country without ethics, morals and believes! What government does so do the people....

  • brad.ken.18 - 2012-11-14 09:05


  • rodney.louis.7 - 2012-11-14 09:08

    Sa needs to adopt Arab law where thieving "pigs" Pay dearly !!!!!

  • kenpeg.dawson - 2012-11-14 09:10

    The vultures swoop when least expected. Total lack of compassion.

  • neil.kroese - 2012-11-14 09:10

    It is stories of hope, like this one, that makes South Africa such a special place....

  • tresso.sven - 2012-11-14 09:13

    That sums up the moral compass of our generation. We as South Africans should/Must stand up and say Enough is enough. No more triviallising crime. Zero tolerance is needed .

  • godesha - 2012-11-14 09:14

    How can you find it in your heart to steal from someone who has lost almost everything? Some people really do not deserve to be classified as humans.

  • numerofigo - 2012-11-14 09:14

    Never underestimate the mind of a thief, lol this 1ns are naughty instead of helping they ruin more

  • peter.brown.940436 - 2012-11-14 09:15

    PARASITES Stamp on them

  • Pete7930 - 2012-11-14 09:17

    Proudly South African!

  • ray.molekoa.5 - 2012-11-14 09:19

    What can we say , I am more afraid of people than anything else . Being in the Kruger seeing animals one feels more relaxed than being in a shopping mall surrounded by unpredictable \people\ .

      BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-11-14 10:34

      That's true

  • Shaun Daly - 2012-11-14 09:25

    Must be foreigners, otherwise theyd know in SA its rob THEN burn

  • - 2012-11-14 09:26

    stop turning this into another racist and political , this type of stuff happens everywhere in the world where there's chaos, think london some time back when the looting happened, it's not a SA problem. and they say the thieves were leaving on boats and jetskis,a common SA criminal has no idea how to operate a boat let alone a jetski, what's a possibility that the actual owners were the ones moving the stuff, look at the bright least all that stuff didn't burn down and destroyed :)

      nic.smith.39794 - 2012-11-14 09:41

      not leaving ON, leaving WITH you neanderthalic turd! you think criminals were stealing TV's and jumping onto jetski's to make a quick get-away? seriously? there is no 'bright side' to this kind of depravity, regardless of race, culture or creed - 2012-11-14 10:21

      Nic.smith, nice word there, lets hope for news 24 to provide a conclusive report on what actually went on there, the article itself is kind of inconclusive and arguing and insulting each other over English prepositions would be futile and childish. Toby.strong, woosah..... - 2012-11-14 13:51

      differences challenges assumptions...

  • kaykay.son.50 - 2012-11-14 09:29

    in these tough economic times, a lot happens. And losing property just like that in a day is not doing any faint hearted good. Taking advantage of the situation does not help either. Yet at the same time one cannot trust rich people that much as they do stage localized disaster for insurance purposes and the innocent suffer. In this case (if it was staged) it backfired big time as it turned out not to be localized anymore.

  • veldt66 - 2012-11-14 09:32

    They were saving property from fire.

      brad.ken.18 - 2012-11-14 09:42

      And doing what with it? Giving back to the owners? Troll excuse!

      jacowium - 2012-11-14 13:20

      With "they", you refer to the firefighters, of course. The others who took the stuff away were thieving scumbags, right Veldt66?

  • frank.kistler.31 - 2012-11-14 09:33

    lekke S.A hey....!!!!!!!!!!

  • veldt66 - 2012-11-14 09:33

    That correct

      brad.ken.18 - 2012-11-14 10:31

      Holy crap!!! What are you breeding in that, that, whatever it is on your head? Its blocking you from having sense!

  • jaysonpaul.beckwith - 2012-11-14 09:40

    Kick them when they are down!! We are all living in a sestpool of crime. Why should some people study, work hard and battle through every day in this country. When some people will just come and take it away. Its so much more easy. I bow my head in shame.

  • ruben.maistry - 2012-11-14 09:43

    Pathetic! Most South Africans, irrespective of race,tend to gain enrichment at the expense of others irrespective of the situation of the aggrieved. This way of life is going to take some miracle to change, sadly, it may never.

  • flysouth - 2012-11-14 09:48

    This is the human detritus which surrounds us all. Keep yer powder dry!

  • Thabani - 2012-11-14 10:03

    That is moral decay.

  • msturmair - 2012-11-14 10:16


  • marlene.vanwyk.37 - 2012-11-14 10:25

    Oh please. Was nobody watching the news with the flooding in New York. Same thing happened!

      Chris - 2012-11-14 10:51

      remember katrina .....

  • werner.schyns.9 - 2012-11-14 11:01

    Wake up you are in SA

  • KCorsar - 2012-11-14 11:27

    we had the same happening in Port Alfred during the floods, as people tried to save their belongings from the houses, taking stuff to higher ground just became an invitation to others to help themselves. One guy lost his only pair of dry shoes to an opportunist thief. Disgusting, sadly insurance will reject claims were items are missing.............

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-11-14 12:52

    Bloody savages.

  • tony.naidoo - 2012-11-14 14:10

    Bus these vacuum cleaners to nKandla! Enough booty there!

  • john.skene - 2012-11-14 14:45

    Our government have caused this. Every poor person in RSA thinks that they are entitled to take or demand everything for nothing. There is no moral compass even from the top. Instead of helping others, they help themselves. Sick society...

  • elzette.smith - 2012-11-14 19:34

    This is a world wide problem, Michael. Looters everywhere in the face of disaster, is what we see every time. This is definitely not unique to our country.

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