Lockdown has spurred a new trend in opportunistic crime – cellphone snatching.
On 26 January at approximately 14:30 Fidelity ADT Guard - officer Lesley Jamela was on duty on Sussex Road in Parkwood when he saw two suspects running from the corner of Bolton avenue. The officer gave chase and managed to catch one of the suspects, the other unfortunately got away. Upon investigation it was discovered that a young lady was walking along the street and was approached by the two men who tried to rob her of her cell phone. When she screamed for help the suspects ran away. A motorist saw what happened and also chased after the suspects. Fortunately, Officer Jamela was there and acted quickly.
The suspect was handed over to Rosebank SAPS.
Carlos Pronto, community development manager for Fidelity ADT says the number of stolen phones has increased dramatically since lockdown. He says the situation has heightened with the increased levels of load shedding.
He offers residents the following advice to keep safe:
- Make sure you know what the load shedding roster is so that you can plan your walk to a certain destination. Never walk in darkness so ensure you can return home before it is dark.
- If you are a victim of an attempted phone snatching, remember to report the incident even if it was just an attempt. A crime is not a crime and will not get recorded unless it is reported.
- Hide your valuables/cell phone in your bag or inside jacket pocket. You need to ensure your phone is not visible to passers by. You must also never talk on your phone while out walking as this makes you an easy target.·
- Don’t walk with earphones listening to music. You have to be able to look and listen.
- Where possible walk with someone to just make you a little less vulnerable. Two people can also help to identify the perpetrators and the vehicle they are travelling in better than one. This will help us to get the criminals behind bars and to keep them there.
“Remember that criminals are usually nervous and working under pressure so they can make mistakes. It is better to just give them what they want and avoid being injured.
That same message needs to be communicated to your children so everyone understands the rules,” concludes Pronto.