Crime wave hits Ermelo as December arrives

Crime wave hits Ermelo as December arrives

press to zoom

press to zoom

press to zoom

press to zoom
1/5

GK CRONJE

7 December 2021

Furthermore, double check that your windows are properly latched, and ensure that all small- and side windows are closed and on latch, as larger windows can easily be opened with creative use of metal wire.

As December arrives with apathetic festivity, so has a surge in crime. Several reports have been noted of burglaries and attempted burglaries in Ermelo, with the main focus of wily criminals being Ermelo East, Cassim Park and De Bruin Park. Several reports have been lodged regarding a white single cab Toyota Hilux bakkie that trawls the streets of Ermelo East, most notably Cloete and Pet Streets. The passengers of the bakkie, reportedly between two and four at a time, allegedly pose as contractors, and by this means gain unauthorized access to properties, where they help themselves to any items that are not bolted down. It is also alleged that the same group lifts motorized gates from the track, and also herewith gain access to properties without permission. The same bakkie has also been reported to have been spotted in Oosthuise Street, and reports of sightings in De Bruin Park have recently been noted. However, the issue regarding the suspects in the Hilux is finicky at best. According to the SAPS spokesperson, Captain Prinsloo, the act of removing a motorized gate from its track is not viewed as a misdemeanor in the eyes of the court. “In order to successfully arrest and convict any trespassing suspect on your property, the said suspect needs to be caught red-handed, and the fact that the suspect has stolen property needs to be proven beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law. The fact that the bakkie and its passengers are trawling the streets and properties is, in itself, not basis of an arrest by the SAPS, lest an act of crime can be proven.”

This is of little comfort to residents who have suffered damages by the hands of the group, and by other criminal elements. Due to the fact of increased criminal activity, the cases reported to the SAPS is handled on basis of severity, and this subsequently impacts the response time by officers on duty. A higher priority crime will enjoy a swifter response time than a menial crime, according to Captain Prinsloo. Another issue that security groups and the SAPS face is that of a female suspect that is notorious for scaling walls and electric fences, gaining access illegally, and making off with all manner of items, most notably hose pipes, garden equipment and meat grills. This suspect is well known, and has been apprehended on numerous occasions with stolen items. Residents in Jorrison Street have also faced a slew of burglaries and attempted burglaries. Over the last week, wily criminals have attempted to gain access to properties in this street, luckily mostly without success. An attempted burglary also left a window to a property smashed. Fortunately, no items of value were able to be pilfered through the window.

Residents are urged to ensure that their properties are secure this December. Ensure that all items of value that can easily be carried, concealed or stolen are locked indoors or in your garage. Furthermore, double check that your windows are properly latched, and ensure that all small- and side windows are closed and on latch, as larger windows can easily be opened with creative use of metal wire. The SAPS has provided the contact numbers of the officers in each area affected by the activities of these criminal elements, and the SAPS requests any resident that notices suspicious behavior, to report it to the numbers provided. Ermelo East - W/O Pillay, 082 448 2653. De Bruin Park - Sgt. Ngcobo, 082 304 0138, and in Cassim Park - Sgt Lubambo, 082 419 6371 / 082 591 7353. Should you notice any suspicious regarding the Hilux, you may contact the above numbers corresponding to your area.

Residents are urged to be vigilant, and report any suspicious behavior, criminal acts and burglaries to the following numbers for swift response and awareness: ACSU on 017 811 1274, Spartan Team on 081 325 7259, or the SAPS on 017 819 7803 / 017 819 7279 / 017 819 7329. Residents may also report emergencies and incidents of suspicious behavior to the SACCW: Theo Craven, SACCW Gert Sibande District Director, 081 733 0032, Chantal Boonstra, SACCW Gert Sibande District Director of Administration & Social Development, 072 460 1654, or Paul Koen, 078 670 1730. The SACCW members are also available on WhatsApp. The safest approach is to look out for one another as residents of Ermelo. If you are away for the weekend or going on vacation, please ask your neighbor to periodically check on your property and alert authorities of any suspicious activity, Likewise, do the same for your neighbors if they are not present at their residence.