Burglars enter homes through roof

One of the many shelters found and destroyed in the Witfontein state forest by citizens during clean up efforts.

GEORGE NEWS - In three daring burglaries which took place in Heatherlands on Saturday night 11 February, burglars gained access through the roof by removing tiles and deactivating alarms. Big items like a gun safe and TV-sets were stolen. In a fourth burglary, entrance was gained through a window.
 
On the same weekend, on Friday 10 February, the beleaguered Heatherlands homeowners reported two attempted burglaries - one in Myrtle Road and one in Arum Road when intruders scaled a palisade fence and a wall round about 22:00.
 
In all six incidents, the burglars chose under lit areas to carry out their crimes.
 
Western Cape SAPS Communications Officer for the Southern Cape, Capt Malcolm Pojé, says in a number of the burglaries firearms were stolen.
 
"We suspect that those criminals involved are either well-trained or are experts when it comes to the installation of safes and alarm systems. As a safety precaution, we appeal to owners of safes and those who have alarm systems, to have it checked regularly and to also install a second upper lock to their sliding doors. Also, do not allow unidentified people onto your property - especially not job seekers or beggars."
 
Eden/Loerie Park
Would-be burglars were also active on Sunday in the Eastern suburbs, going from home to home trying the front doors while the owners were inside. At 21:00 one would-be intruder pushed down hard on a home's door handle and pulled forcefully at a window's burglar bars.
 
The homeowner is surprised by the audacity of the robbers saying they are very likely armed and therefore willing to confront home owners. She said housebreaking statistics should be released on a regular basis so that George residents can be vigilant and be more security conscious. However, the police told the George Herald that they only release statistics once a year.
 
On 8 September 2016 Lizette da Silva, George Herald news editor, wrote in a detailed report that burglaries at homes increased from 650 cases to 699 for the entire George policing area in the 2015/2016 financial year.
 
In that same period, burglaries at non-residential premises went up from 366 to 420. However, in 2014 the number of house burglaries reported was 860.
 
Drug addicts
Two local neighbourhood watches report an increase in crime linked to more white drug addicts hanging around in the area. Not only are they more visible than before; they know them by name and beg on street corners.
 
A local policeman confirmed that George has become a draw-card for drug addicts. He and neighbourhood watch spokespersons said this week: "Many do-gooders supply food and money to addicts and in so support their dependency."
 
Capt Pojé warned this week that residents should desist from doing so as it will only increase crime. During regular clean-up efforts of the Witfontein state forest, groups of volunteers have found needles, discarded loot and temporary shelters.
 
Neighbourhood watches share information and through patrols, as well as fast reaction to situations, have been proving their efficiency.
 
The station commander of George SAPS, Brig Victoria Mavaka-Ncamani expressed SAPS's gratitude towards the neighbourhood watch structures and sector crime forums in the George area for their voluntary assistance in fighting crime.
 
"They have been vigilant at all times and assisted SAPS with information and even arrests of suspects."
 
ARTICLE: PAULINE LOURENS, GEORGE HERALD JOURNALIST 
 
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