In the past week there has been an increase in the number of house break-ins and armed house robberies in the Garsfontein and Pretoria East areas. In Garsfontein alone, there were 3 incidents on Snowy walker, Drongo and Gert Potgieter block. The other incidents occurred in the Pretoria East area. These incidents are taking place mostly during the day.
Leon Muller, District Manager for Fidelity ADT, is urging residents to be extra vigilant about their security, especially as the economy opens up and everyone goes back to work. “The crime is mostly opportunistic, so if your perimeter is not secure, criminals are taking advantage. If they can’t get into you house, they take what they can from your yard or from your parked cars. Be especially vigilant about vehicles stopping and occupants ringing bells/ intercoms at your neighbour’s yards and then leaving when they get a response.”
The other modus operandi is tampering with motor gates between 10am and 15:00.
Criminals are either lifting gates, or they bend the toothed gate motor track away. If your yard perimeter is not secure, they enter your yard and manually release your gate motor and then go through the front security gate and door. “In some cases we have seen them ripping down the front security gate or door using ropes attached to a vehicle,” says Muller.
He offers the following safety tips for residents:
· Ensure that perimeter doors are fitted with adequate locks.
· Activate your alarm when leaving home, even if just going to run a quick errand.
· Fit suitable “spacers”, locks or bolts to all sliding doors to prevent them from being lifted off their tracks (the most common method used by burglars on sliding doors and windows).
· Ensure all windows are fitted with adequate locks or burglar bars that cover all glass.
· Ensure that all duplicate keys are locked away if not in use. Do not leave in doors or make unnecessary copies.
· Keep the garage and tool shed locked when not in use. Would–be intruders should not have access to any item that can be used as a weapon or burglary tool.
· Install outside lights that can be remotely controlled from inside the house. Consider installing lighting outside which is activated by a motion detector.
· Reduce all heavy foliage near your perimeter wall and gate to reduce the possibility of those spots being used as hiding places.
“Please ensure that your alarms are in working order and are set. Please also be alert when driving in the area and if you believe you are being followed don’t turn into your driveway but rather drive to your nearest police station, security boom or a place with activity. Remember to only open your gate when you are sure it is safe to do so and close it immediately after you have entered,” concludes Muller.