Grassy Park residents are at their wits’ end after a spate of burglaries has plagued them in the past month.
One resident who did not want to be named says he is infuriated after his property has been hit by thieving criminals “too many times”.
“In the past two to three weeks they have tried to enter my neighbour’s premises, as well as gained entry to mine. I’m not even sleeping properly anymore, because I’m on alert for these criminals,” he says.
He adds that the burglars are known to residents “because these criminals live in the area”.
He says two weeks ago they caught a criminal in his neighbour’s yard just after 02:00.
“We called the cops and had him arrested. It has just got to a point now where we are fed up and angry,” he says.
Grassy Park police spokesperson Warrant Officer Wynita Kleinsmith says sporadic incidents of housebreak-ins have been reported. Suspects are arrested on a regular basis. She adds that entry is normally gained by breaking windows and forcing doors open.
Kleinsmith says residents should be sure their homes are not open invitations to burglars, sharing a few tips on what might be seen as “an open invitation”:
. Doors left unlocked or secured by cheap and easily breakable locks.
. Ladders, garden tools, etc. left lying around.
. Open windows, especially where it seems too small for an average-sized person to enter.
. A dark house is a signal that you’re out. If you go out at night draw the curtain and leave lights on.
. Newspapers and letters left in post boxes.
. Bushes around entry gates make a good hiding place for criminals.
. Leaving expensive items lying around.
. Garage doors that are visible from the road and left open. Keep your dogs visible; they are a deterrent.
. Be careful what you discuss in front of workers and do a security check on them. Make a copy of their IDs for your own keeping.
. A list of the make, model and serial numbers of electrical appliances and other valuable equipment should be kept.
. Get a friend or neighbour to keep a regular eye on your property and to remove mail and newspapers if you are away for a while.
. Inform police if you see suspicious-looking people lurking around.
Kleinsmith has encouraged residents to stay up to date with activities in their area by starting WhatsApp groups with neighbours, neighbourhood watches and street committees.
“Regular stop and searches and patrols are conducted in the Grassy Park policing precinct,” she concludes.