Austerville Police And Councilor Address Mysterious Burglaries in Alabama/Jonas Roads

Sometimes, a burglary can take place in your home without actually looking like a burglary at all. More often than not, burglars will break into a property subtly, so as not to attract the attention of passers-by or law enforcement. These types of burglaries can often be very tricky to prove.

From December 2020 there has been a spate of burglaries In the vicinity of Jonas/Alabama Road, resulting in one ground floor tenant losing goods up to the value of about R30,000.

No doors have been forced open in the building, no windows are broken, so how did the burglar actually break-in?

Burglars use a variety of techniques to enter a building while leaving no obvious signs of a break-in or theft.

Burglars might steal the keys to your house, allowing them to enter the building without leaving any telltale signs of a break-in. Burglaries are also often carried out using fake keys or copied keys.

Aluminum windows and doors are now a special target. Criminals find it easy to target homes with aluminum windows as they can easily remove the window panes by clipping away the rubber beading. The residents claim that this is the manner in which burglars have been entering their homes.

Aluminum widows are a special target

On Wednesday 10 February 2021, Councillor Aubrey Snyman together with, Captain Vanzyl, (Station Commander; Wentworth Police Station), Colonel Duke, Pastor Donny Anderson, and Colonel Myburgh, met with the residents of Jonas /Alabama Roads, in regards to this recent incidence of burglaries, and criminal and anti-social behavior during the covid-19 curfew.

Resident Cheryl Lawson said that these home robberies have caused fear among the victims and the general public, especially since it occurs inside one’s home where people expect privacy and safety. The fear of re-victimization is unique, because victims live day-to-day at the robbery location, unlike those robbed in public who can allay fears by avoiding places of risk, or the location of a prior victimization

Widows and the elderly are being targeted

Kim Augustine said that the matter has become serious, and should be treated with utmost urgency, as widows and the elderly are being targeted.

Councillor Aubrey Snyman stated that;  It is apparent that many citizens have lost faith in the police, due to the overwhelming amount of corruption and inequality that plagues the system. Many have become silent on reporting crime and feel as though police officers don’t want to be bothered with the community issues, or believe that law enforcement has simply given up on their duty to serve and protect, due to the high amounts of crime in many low-income neighborhoods. Such a dismal mentality, along with current news and media reports of police abuse and corruption, has really dampened the community-oriented approach to crime control. However, it is only logical that effective crime control includes a group effort. It takes continuous teamwork and a collaborative approach that includes all participants of the community from citizens to victims, community leaders, and the police

As a front-line leader Captain Van Zyl encourages the Wentworth Community to come and talk to him about a variety of different concerns. That is his ‘open door policy’, anyone can talk to him at any time, and bring up any questions or concerns.

Feedback is the backbone to the success of this officer.  As a leader, he welcomes feedback and seeks it on a daily basis. He understands that the only way to improve is the synergy that only comes from honest feedback from the community.

Captain Van Zyl also indicated that one of the issues affecting service delivery at the Wentworth Police Station is a shortage of police personnel: with the station having a ratio of one officer to 650 residents. He says that this has had a major impact on visible policing and service at the police station.

He advised the community that the call center number-086 10111 should be called in case of emergencies.

This is a 24-hour crime reporting call center that deals with complaints by the public.  The calls can be made on a landline – calls are free, or from a cell phone, which is charged at the normal cell phone rates. All calls to the center are recorded.

Dial 086 10111 only in emergencies. For less serious complaints and general inquiries, call the nearest police station.

When you dial 086 10111, a call center operator answers the call and takes the necessary information. Remain calm when making an emergency call, and speak clearly, while giving vital information:

The information is captured and a reference number given to the caller as proof, and for future reference. The complaint is assigned to the local SAPS Community Service Centre Sector, vehicle, or the nearest flying squad vehicle.

Residents were further reassured that the concerns which they have raised with the councilor and the police will be addressed. Captain VanZyl invited and encouraged the community to share any further information about those who are responsible for the unacceptable behavior.

By: Lorraine Richards

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