Spike in vehicle theft

Visitors and residents of Gatesville are urged to be more vigilant due to an increased frequency of vehicle theft in the area.

Faldielah Smith contacted People’s Post to raise her concerns after her son, who works at Melomed Gatesville, had his car stolen while parked in the area.

“Rifaat works at Gatesville medical and two months ago his car was stolen. Just over a month after that it was recovered totally vandalised,” says Smith.

He bought himself another car and it too was stolen last week.

Athlone police spokesperson Sergeant Zita Norman says that they have increased the density of police patrolling the area in a bid to curb crime.

“There has been an increase in theft of motor vehicles in the Gatesville area. Athlone police have increased visibility and have morpho touched the existing car guards in the area,” Norman confirms.

The police use the morpho touch system, which uses fingerprint identification technology to obtain information on criminal cases where there are wanted suspects.

Norman urged the community to contact Athlone police when seeing suspicious vehicles in the area or contact the Constable Melicia Abrahams on 082 379 1045.

Norman further urges the community to be vigilant on the increase of theft of refuse bins in Athlone.

“Neighbours are encouraged to be neighbourly by assisting in taking each other’s dustbin in if they are working late in the evening or starting early in the morning,” says Norman.

She also says that owners of municipal refuse bins should mark them clearly and that the police should be contacted when anyone sees a dustbin being found pushed outside of the area they are known to be found in by those who are not the bins owners.

“The community should contact SAPS Athlone when they see dustbins being pushed around by people which clearly are not the owners thereof. It is alleged that the dustbins are being melted and made into samboks,” she states.

She adds: “The community should also be aware of a new trend of dirt being thrown onto people’s property which includes babies throw away nappies and empty household items. People should know that it’s a crime and a fine will be issued to the perpetrators when caught.”

Norman also warned that commuters and pedestrians should be more alert when taking public transport in Jan Smuts Road.

“They should be in groups and not alone. Try to have less valuable items on one’s self due to robberies which occur in the morning,” she concludes.

The Athlone Victim Support Room will have an Open Day on Thursday 18 August at 09:00.

As part of Women’s Month, counsellors, together with the police, will inform women on how to go about acquiring an interdict and to stop gender violence.

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