Msunduzi’s Safe City sees 19 nabbed for robbery, drug possession

2017-10-31 13:57
CCTV operator at Safe City, Ntombi Mkhize, analyses video footage in their control room. Their surveillance led to 19 arrests this past weekend.

CCTV operator at Safe City, Ntombi Mkhize, analyses video footage in their control room. Their surveillance led to 19 arrests this past weekend. (Ian Carbutt)

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A gang of nine alleged thieves was nabbed as Msunduzi Municipality’s Safe City initiative brought 19 suspects to book for various crimes this weekend.

In other incidents, three people were arrested for possession of drugs, one for carrying a dangerous weapon and a wanted suspect was also caught.

All the arrests took place between Friday night and Sunday evening.

Staff of Safe City, a crime prevention initiative that operates 69 CCTV cameras from a control room, said it was probably the most successful haul in its 14-year history.

General manager Lucas Holtzhausen said the nine people were trying to rob two different premises on Saturday night when they were caught by police.

He said CCTV operators picked up four of the thieves trying to steal clothes from premises on Church Street.

The four had split up and tried to flee the scene through Church Street and Pietermaritz Street.

“The SAPS was notified and they apprehended the two males that had gone towards Pietermaritz Street. Two dog unit vehicles also attended and apprehended the other two suspects that had gone into Church Street,” he said.

While SAPS members were on scene, the alarm at a nearby store went off, Holtzhausen said.

SAPS arrested five men who were trying to evade capture on the rooftop of the store.

“Upon investigation on the scene it appeared that all the suspects were from one group and that they had split before committing these two crimes.”

On Friday, three people were arrested for possession of drugs at the Sweetwaters taxi rank. Shortly after that a person was arrested for attempted robbery in the same area.

On Saturday morning, a suspect who has been wanted by authorities for cases of common robbery was identified by CCTV operators.

“The SAPS was informed and an arrest was made,” Holtzhausen said.

On Sunday morning, people were arrested for robbing two men on Langalibalele Street.

Holtzhausen said CCTV operators inform a police officer based at their offices when they spot an incident or suspicious behaviour.

“From there, the operators follow the suspect, and, from a radio, the officer directs police to the criminal activity until the arrest is made. After arrests are made, we make statements to police and burn the footage onto a DVD.”

He said the statements and footage are then sent to the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court the following working day.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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