THE up-market suburb of Wavecrest in Jeffreys Bay appears to have become the prime target of organised crime syndicates, with 18 burglaries apparently taking place in one week.
Warrant Officer Petra Els of the Jeffreys Bay police confirmed that the past month has seen an alarming increase in housebreaking and theft in the area but would not divulge the numbers.
However, many residents whose properties were burgled in the past month have spoken to Our Times.
To make matters worse, most of the victims suspect that they were drugged because they did not wake up when the burglars gained access, and some slept until late the following morning.
One victim, who prefers to remain anonymous, said: “I know of three houses in the vicinity that were burgled on the same night.”
He said he was a light sleeper and normally woke up a few times during the night before rising at 6am. That night he did not wake up at all and only woke up at 7.30am with a headache. The perpetrators used a hacksaw to saw through the burglar bars. “They must be using children as the gap they crawled through was quite small,” he said.
Els said they had put together a task team and that some arrests have been made and more arrests were expected to follow soon.
She confirmed that most break-ins in Wavecrest occurred between midnight and 6am and that perpetrators normally gained access by forcing open a door or window.
She appealed to residents to clean empty plots as perpetrators frequently hid in the long grass or bushes of these empty plots.
“We need the help of the public. If you have an alarm installed in your house, please activate it when you go to bed at night. Do not ignore your dogs when they are barking, check it out. Always lock your bedroom door and keep a cellphone at your bedside.”
In a mass power display and an attempt to show solidarity, the Jeffreys Bay police, fire brigade, ambulance services, law enforcement, traffic, ADT security and Smhart security drove through Jeffreys Bay last Friday. The event was organised by the Jeffreys Bay Community Police Forum and the Jeffreys Bay Police. “The reason we did this was to showcase the unity among the different role players in combating crime together,” said Els.
She said the public should report anything out of the ordinary or suspicious to the police at (042)200-6802/3 or 079-1228, or to contact the Wavecrest sector manager Warrant Officer Jacques Potgieter on 072-414-2090.