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The video of a recent driveway robbery in Morell Drive, Blairgowrie, that has gone viral is once again a shocking reminder of how quickly these incidents happen. Nearly hitting a small child as they speed into the driveway at around 12:30, the criminals spend less than a minute gathering goods from inside the targeted vehicle before speeding off. Whether they were after the vehicle too is unclear in the video but due to the fact that the vehicle rolled back into the gate and wall, they may have been forced to leave it.
Chris Van Deventer, Fidelity ADT’s Community Development Manager for the area, says the video is very disturbing because these criminals obviously had no regard for human life nearly hitting the child who was innocently walking by. “It appears that the criminals may have been trailing the vehicle and knew when it would be returning to the house. This is often a modus operandi used by criminals, especially around midday when many people are fetching kids from school and heading home,” he says.
He is urging all residents to be on the alert and to report any suspicious activity to the SAPS or security companies. “I also urge residents to take a look at the following advice and to take it seriously.”
- If you suspect you are being followed, put your indicator on and slow down at least two to three houses prior to your home. If you are being followed, you will force the vehicle behind you to pass and this could cause the criminals to lose interest.
- When approaching the driveway, put away your phone and any other distractions, and be on the alert for any suspicious individuals or vehicles. Do not stop at the driveway if you feel uneasy – trust your instincts and rather drive to a police station or public area.
- If you need to stop in your driveway to manually open the gate, always leave the key in the ignition and the motor running unless you have a child in the car. Only then should you take the key with you as you open the gate. The key is a valuable negotiating tool – they want your car and you want your child.
- If you stay in a secure complex with security guards, do not be fooled into thinking you are safe. You can easily be followed into your complex so always remain vigilant.