Smash and grab thieves busy in CBD

Internet image.

On Saturday both Daleen Naude, a journalist at the paper and Fay Cooke, the paper’s English proofreader, reported that their husbands were mugged whilst doing business in town.

Neil Naude was robbed near PQ in SADC Street and Quintin White Sharpley was robbed in the Autospares parking lot opposite McDonald’s.

Mrs Cooke, said that her husband stopped at Autospares on his way back from work.

The business was closed and Mr White Sharpley returned to his vehicle.

Before he could close his door, two men were standing next to him. Mr White Sharpley fought to get them out of the car.

The scuffle ended when one of the men grabbed the other by the neck and pulled him away.

Mr White Sharpley immediately yanked his door shut and locked his vehicle. He was then alerted that the passenger door was open and noticed that his cellphone and bank cards were missing.

A bystander told Mr White Sharpley that the men who robbed him were nyaope addicts who sell their loot to specific buyers at Iraq Taxi Rank. Mr White Sharpley went there and went into a shebeen he was told to go to, but could not find anything.

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When he arrived at the police station, Mr White Sharpley was told that he was the 16th victim for the day.

The Naude couple could not be reached because both their phones were stolen.

Schalk Jacobs, who also had an incident in the CBD wrote: “When will the police be more visible in the CBD? Please.

My canopy can’t lock so I’m standing at my bakkie while my staff is inside a shop. A guy tries to take of my wheel-cap in front to show me I must cable tie it. I say thank you and he does it again. I move towards him and tell him he better leave it alone. He holds it in his hand and backs up.

So I realise whats happening. I grab the wheel-cap and turn around in time to see another fellow, opening up my canopy. I chased him off fast. Obviously wheel-cap guy is missing already.

So this is what I was able to do, but what about other people?

If people become more aware and more diligent, who is to say they won’t become more zealous and start taking the law in their own hands?

If I did catch the guy, it would have been my word against his. And how much of a fight would there have been to detain him? Meaning I’m breaking the law by beating the guy up. Taking the law in my own hands.

Police presence may seem boring. But its preventative.

So please, everyone who matters, please do something to create something to get the police more visible in our CBD. Kwela town of the year, with a drug haven in the CBD, where car guards (with meters and without) work with the tsotsis, help to distract you even.

Others are too scared to get involved. Or possibly instructed not to. Obviously for employee safety. Which I myself can understand and agree with. Our newspaper warns us about the CBD. Pretty little signs in the shops tell us not to leave valuables in the vehicle.

These crimes are petty, but the effect of them are picking up speed. The CBD is losing value, becoming a drug haven. And people will soon starting beating each other in the street and worse.

I mean, we have a game plan when we have to go into the CBD. Because of kids with a drug problem.

I myself can go shop elsewhere. Everyone can. But what happens then?

I am willing to accept that all our officials are doing their very best to keep us the best town to stay in.

But I am pleading with you to fix the CBD. To make police more visible here. It will make a world of difference. Please.

  AUTHOR
Tobie van den Bergh
Editor

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