Thieves caught on viral videos

An alert Strandfontein resident captured two incidents involving brazen burglars targeting homes in Borzoi Crescent, in videos which went viral on social media last week.

The two residents whose homes were broken into, and who spoke to the Plainsman about the incidents are living in fear and asked that their identities not be revealed.

The first video, filmed and posted on social media on Tuesday July 23, was captured by a resident who watched as a burglar with a crowbar tried to get into his home.

The resident said there was a knock at the door but the man left when the door wasn’t opened. When the resident went to check where the man was going, he did not see him. However, the man and an accomplice returned a few minutes later in a white Quantum, visible in the video filmed by the resident.

Filming, watches as the would-be intruder checks the door before taking a crowbar from his jacket.

The resident shouts “Hallo. Ja, I got you. I got you.” The intruder then makes off, gets into the van and they drive off.

The resident has criticised the way police handled the complaint, saying that after asking that the video be sent to him, Strandfontein police station commander, Captain David Malong had done nothing further.

“He did not take a statement and brushed it off. No assistance was given. Sandy Schuter, Strandfontein CPF chairperson, and her team were the only people who assisted us,” said the resident.

Captain Malong, however, disagreed.

“We did assist the resident and we spoke about the incident. The resident then had to leave for work and we exchanged information regarding the video,” he said.

Less than a week later, the man again filmed intruders in the act – this time making their getaway from his neighbour’s home they had just broken into.

“This is all a traumatic experience for us, looking over your shoulder not knowing if they’re coming back,” the resident told the Plainsman.

The resident living at the house involved in the second incident, said this was the second break-in in the past two months. In the latest incident, burglars first came round at 5.40am before returning at about 12.30pm.

They made off with electronic goods and fled the scene in a Toyota Etios. Police are investigating but no arrests have yet been made, said Sergeant George Mjiwu from SAPS.

“The same people are targeting our area and its evident in the video that went viral. We can clearly see it’s the same people,” said the resident.

During the second break-in, the burglar alarm was triggered. ADT said the signal was received at 12.54pm.

“One of our armed response vehicles was sent and arrived at the address within six minutes, to find that the premises had been robbed of a number of household items. I have been in contact with the homeowner, to discuss the events of Monday,” said Jade Hanning, Cape Town South district manager at Fidelity ADT.

On being alerted to the incident on Monday, Ms Schuter, volunteers from the community, SAPS, Metro Police, traffic services and Law Enforcement cordoned off the road at Caltex Garage and the corner of Spine Road and Old Strandfontein Road in the hopes that they would nab the burglars, but they had not been able to.

“It’s not about my stuff that is missing, something needs to be done about this in our now vulnerable community. If it wasn’t for my neighbour who made this video, it would not have been known. They have broken into many people’s houses.

“Our community has been neglected. Our community is also disconnected and we don’t support each other the way we need to,” said the resident.

Ms Schuter said their team had received the information on the community group chat.

“Second hand information does not help when we need to act on an emergency call. People need to call SAPS first and not post on group chats, as this is not being monitored in due time of an emergency. Be specific, if you didn’t see it, don’t post it. Group chats have disabled our community from reporting, we need to put our boots on the ground,” she said.

This has not reduced crime but has caused a panic in the community, said Ms Schuter.

New block watches in the affected areas will be established over two weeks, said Ms Schuter.

For more information Ms Schuter can be contacted on 071 947 8294.

Anyone with information on the break-ins can contact SAPS crime stop on 08600 10111. Information will be treated confidential.