Athlone burglers threaten guard

2016-11-23 09:58
Robbers stole TV and sped off in red GTI Vehicle.

Robbers stole TV and sped off in red GTI Vehicle. (File)

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A brazen burglary in Athlone saw two armed men threaten a security guard before telling him to “move” away from the house.

A PMB Security staff member arrived at a house in Price Road after he received a call that the alarm had been activated. On arrival, the guard was greeted by two men in balaclavas standing in the driveway.

The guard, Thokozani Dlamini, was allegedly told by colleagues at his control room that the owner of the house was at a shop and was not in any immediate danger.

Dlamini told The Witness, after the burglary on Monday night, that as he approached the house, he spotted a red Golf GTI in the driveway and a man in a balaclava standing near the driveway gate.

“I slowed down as I drove past and there was a man behind the car who approached me and pointed a gun at me,” said Dlamini.

“He told me to move and that I must not come in here [the house] so I drove past and parked in a position where I could still see them and turned my lights off.”

Dlamini said both men were wearing balaclavas. “I called the control room and told them to call the police for back-up.

“I then saw a man walking from the house, across to the car, carrying a TV. He put it into the car and they sped off.”

Dlamini said the burglars raced up the road, almost crashing into his car as they made their getaway.

After following them past Grey’s Hospital, Dlamini said he lost track of the men and headed back to the home where the police were waiting.

“I thought they were going to shoot me. They told me not to go near them. They were aggressive,” said Dlamini.

He said although he had worked for PMB Security for four years, Monday night’s incident had been the first time he had come across “a problem like this”.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese said the matter was being investigated and no arrests have been made. He said the burglars stole a TV and other electronics from the house.

A resident in the area said although there had been a “great number” of robberies recently, the public needed to be aware that false alarms could lead to complacency.

She added that like the police, private security companies should have two guards per car instead of one.

PMB Security director Mary-Ann Jeffery said having two guards per patrol car had not been successful in the past. “If it had been, we would have done it a long time ago,” Jeffery said.

“If there were two guards in the car, the outcome would have been the same.”

Jeffery said if two patrol guards were allowed per vehicle, fees would therefore have to increase and the company preferred having two cars carrying individual guards on patrol instead of two guards in one car.

Institute for Security Studies senior researcher Dr Johan Burger said it is was usual for police to have two officers per vehicle and the same procedure should be followed by private security companies.

He said KwaZulu-Natal’s violent crime rates were increasing faster than that of the national level.

Burger said having one security guard patrolling was “unnecessarily risky and irresponsible”.

“They [security guards] cannot be expected to do their work properly if they do it alone,” he said. “You need someone who covers you”.

Burger added that false alarms could also be an issue in terms of detecting serious crimes and that problem alarms should be fixed immediately.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  house robberies

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