Armed robberies spike

Lansdowne residents have been warned to remain vigilant as police confirm there has been a spate of armed robberies in the precinct.

Police say the trend started spiking at the beginning of August.

Lansdowne police spokesperson Sergeant Nkululeko Mnyaka says the number of street robberies reported from the beginning of August are raising concern.

“To date 11 robberies have been reported in the Lansdowne police precinct,” Mnyaka says.

“These occurred in mostly main roads like Imam Haron, Lansdowne, Turfhall and Jan Smuts, and especially at bus stops – where people are walking to and from railway stations – were targeted.”

Mnyaka confirms that they have made successful arrests in five incidents.

In the remaining six incidents, no arrests have been made yet.

“On Monday 1 August at 12:15 the complainant was walking in Woodlands Road, Ottery, when two unknown men came running to him. One of them grabbed him and pointed a firearm at him. They searched him and took his wallet,” Mnyaka confirms.

He says the wallet contained R800, an ID and bank cards. The suspects also made off with the victim’s cellphone.

Mnyaka confirms the suspects ran in the direction of the Freedom Park informal settlement.

“The victim called the police and identified the suspects. Two suspects were arrested with the assistance of the local neighbourhood watch,” he says.

On the same day at 18:30, another incident occurred on the field in Dolomite Road, Penlyn, says Mnyaka.

“The victim was walking when he saw three men in front of him. They tried to grab his bag. He held on, but the suspects kept tugging on it,” he says.

The victim was then threatened at gunpoint by one of the suspects demanding his bag.

“The suspect pulled out a black firearm and pointed it at the victim’s face. The victim gave them his bag, which also contained his house keys, a garage remote and a white Guess wallet with R800 cash in it.

After the robbery they ran in the direction of Hanover Park.”

No arrests have yet been made in this case.

In another robbery incident on Thursday 4 August at 23:30, the complainant was driving home from work with a friend.

“On the corners of Lansdowne and Drayton roads, two unknown men wearing balaclavas knocked on the window of their car with a firearm. They demanded the victim’s cellphone and also took his wallet and jacket,” Mnyaka says.

No arrests have yet been made.

On Sunday 7 August police made two arrests after another robbery at 14:30 in Honeyside Road, Crawford. “The complainant was playing in the park with his friends when he saw a red Golf driving down the road,” Mnyaka says.

The suspicious vehicle passed the park, but then turned around and stopped, Mnyaka explains.

“Two men got out of the vehicle and told them not to run. They grabbed the complainant and threatened him at gunpoint,” Mnyaka says.

“The complainant threw his friend’s cellphone on the ground and the suspects picked it up and made off with the phone.”

The suspects got into the red vehicle and made off with the phone.

Shortly after, police arrested the two suspects.

On Friday 5 August at 14:00 another victim of a robbery was riding his bicycle along Turfhall Road when four men approached him.

“The suspects threatened him with a knife. They tried to take his bicycle, but the complainant fought them and they run away.
“He then managed to get hold of one of them and brought him to the police station,” Mnyaka says.

The other suspects are still at large.

Lansdowne station commander Colonel Herman Seals is urging the community and those who come to the precinct for work purposes to always be vigilant.
He has urged commuter to be careful when walking to or from public transport at bus stops and railway stations.

Residents are also urged not to display their devices while walking in the street and to report suspicious people or vehicles roaming on their respective streets.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Lansdowne detectives at 021 700 9000 or 082 576 2804.

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