Crime in eMkhondo is increasing but, fortunately, there are various groups and individuals who are fighting back and standing up against the criminals.
On Thursday 11 February five children went to a home in town and stood outside of the gate. They provoked the homeowner’s dogs and threw rocks at them. The next day, they returned to the same home and ripped open the refuse bags that were left on the sidewalk for collection and threw each other with the rubbish.
A neighbour noticed them and told them that they had to clean up the mess and then leave but, they ran away. When they saw that the neighbour had left, they went back and continued to play with the waste materials.
On Sunday 14 February at approximately 04:00, a resident who lives in Hansen Street reported on a crime watch WhatsApp group that criminals had attempted to steal a vehicle from their yard. Apparently the suspects broke the gate and the back door open. They then took the keys of all the vehicles. One vehicle was parked outside of the main bedroom window. The dogs started barking which woke up one of the individuals in the home. She looked out of the window and saw that the vehicle had been started and she also saw the suspects.
She immediately alerted her husband and the criminals were chased away, leaving with all the keys of the vehicles but, apparently, they did not have the knowledge to drive the car so, they left it there. The victims of the break-in attempted to contact the Mkhondo SAPS but, the numbers they had were not correct and they could only reach them on the correct number approximately two hours after the incident. Officers were sent to the home and a case was opened.
Also on Sunday, criminals broke into a home in Draad Street and stole a laptop and a cellphone. The residents of the house were home at the time. According to them, the criminals cut the barbed wire that is on top of their wall and then jumped over. The suspects had meat with them, which they intended to use to lure the dog away but, they did not know that the dog was sleeping in the home that particular night.
They broke open the frames of small windows which were left open by the owners to let fresh air into the home. No one in the home woke up during the incident and they only noticed that there was a break-in when they woke up the following morning. One of the residents of the home says that they feel that the criminals have been watching them for a while since they knew about their dog. The fact that they were so quick and quiet also indicates that it is not their first offence and that they are probably well trained.
The street lights in front of the home are also broken which means that it would be easy for a criminal to hide and it would be difficult to spot them.
On Monday morning at about 02:00, a guard of a local security company was conducting his nightly patrol and was on his way to tend to an alarm that went off at the Piet Retief Country Club when he noticed two suspicious-looking men in the Piet Retief Post Office area. He tended to the alarm and when he left, he decided to see if the men were still there. They were gone but, he got out of his vehicle just to assure himself. When he climbed out, the two men approached from a broken window out of one of the local businesses.
He notified the security company who is responsible for that store and they told him that the alarm had not been activated, which is the reason they did not send someone to tend to the incident.
On Tuesday 16 February early in the morning, the tyres were stolen from a vehicle that was parked on-premises in Van Dyk Street. The owner of the vehicle says that it seems like the culprits were professionals since they would have needed special tools to remove the tyres. They also broke into his garage and stole some tools and attempted to get into the home but, fortunately, they were unsuccessful. The damage that they caused adds up to approximately R20 000-00 and it seems that they climbed over the wall to gain access.
Be vigilant! Mkhondo SAPS contact number: 017 824 2628.