Police go undercover to curb Hayfields burglaries

2016-03-23 10:54
(File, Saps)

(File, Saps)

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Pietermaritzburg - Pietermaritzburg police say they are working closely with homeowners to curb the rate of burglaries in the Hayfields area.

Spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese said officers were working undercover in the Hayfields area to make headway in arresting criminals who have plagued the suburb since January.

However, Ngobese said there was no evidence of an organised gang operating in the area, as reported in The Witness (“Gang besieges city suburb”) yesterday.

A number of residents who had fallen victim to burglars had described a similar modus operandi being used in each instance: men arriving in a car, using the intercom to establish if anyone was home, disabling the gate and then entering the home and stealing items.

However, Ngobese said there was no evidence that a car was used by the burglars to load goods and make their getaway in most of the burglaries in Hayfields.

From their reports, the burglars mainly accessed properties by jumping over walls or fences, and not by derailing the driveway gate, even though CCTV footage shows this was done in some cases.

He said in most cases, burglars had made their getaway through grassy or bushy areas, some hiding their loot there until they could fetch it with a car later, while others ran to the highway and into informal settlements nearby.

He said the burglars often posed as gardeners, pretending to be looking for work, or claimed they were relatives of domestic workers.

Ngobese added that only four of the 12 burglaries in Holly Road had been reported to the police, and pointed out that the colour picture published in The Witness yesterday, with the caption “The gang is caught on CCTV attempting to break into a house in Hayfields last week”, originated from the Merrivale area and not Hayfields.

The Witness apologises for this ­error.

• amil.umraw@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  burglary  |  crime  |  saps  |  robbery

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