A private security officer from Richards Bay has been praised for his quick and brave response to a home break-in, which led to the arrest of a suspected thief. The suspect is now in police custody.
The Fidelity ADT Monitoring Centre received an alarm activation from an Arboretum home on Sunday 8th September and immediately dispatched Armed Response Officer (ARO), Phakamani Mkhwanazi, who arrived at the property within minutes. The ARO had been informed of an attempted house break-in at the same property only a few days prior.
“Our officers continuously receive information regarding various incidents, crime trends and modus operandi for the specific areas in which they patrol. This ensures that they are well-informed and prepared when responding to incidents of this nature. The fact that there was an attempted break-in only a few days prior gave the indication that it was less likely to be a false alarm. Criminals may return to a premises shortly after the initial break-in as they may have found a vulnerable area to gain entry or may have seen an item of value that they want to return for,” explains Fidelity ADT’s Branch Manager for Richards Bay, Les Rungasamy.
Whilst conducting a perimeter check, ARO Mkhwanazi noticed a pair of sandals next to the garage and discovered an outbuilding’s wooden door was wide open with a few shelved items next to it. ARO Mkhwanazi followed several footprints towards the back of the property and noticed movement inside the house. He immediately entered the home and found a suspect hiding behind a door.
The suspect was apprehended and handed over for arrest to members of the Richards Bay South African Police Service (SAPS).
“I’d like to commend ARO Mkhwanazi for his quick response, vigilance and bravery which ensured that the criminal has now been placed behind bars. These officers are often the unsung heroes of society as they continuously put themselves at risk to look after the safety of the greater Richards Bay community,” said Rungasamy.
Rungasamy advised residents to regularly test their alarm systems and to ensure that windows and doors, including garage doors, are properly closed and secured.
“As an extra security measure, consider installing outdoor beams; if you already have them ensure that they are also activated. In addition, should you come across a suspect on your property, remain calm and immediately contact your security service provider or the South African Police Service. Never confront them or attempt to capture the suspects because they may be armed and dangerous.”