Theft out of motor vehicles on the rise in Sunninghill

Theft out of motor vehicles has plagued community members around Sunninghill shopping centres.

Theft out of motor vehicles has plagued shopping centres in the Sunninghill area and residents are urged to remain vigilant while out shopping.

This is according to the chairperson of Sunninghill Community Ratepayers Association, Linda Gildenhuys who explained that due to the rise in crimes, they’ve been working closely with shopping centres.

“With the partnership, we have managed to reduce the frequency of the crimes. Sunninghill Community Ratepayers have four dedicated Savika Armed Response vehicles in the area which we pay for. We have ensured that all centres are linked to these vehicles with panic buttons and in addition to this, these vehicles patrol the centres especially at vulnerable times.”

Gildenhuys highlighted that although criminals still use devices for remote-jamming, they focus more on breaking into vehicles by manipulating door locks, especially Fords.

“Due to our state-of-the-art CCTV technology and Savika armed patrol cars we do not have very high crime when it comes to housebreakings or follow-home from shopping centre robberies, but we have seen an increase and are battling with crime such as common robberies and armed robberies on the streets, specifically the areas around Rivonia Road and Leeuwkop Road,” she said.

Gildenhuys explained that they also had a growing number of squatters moving into the greenbelt areas along the river next to the taxi holding area in Witkoppen Road, along the Sandspruit River between Sunninghill and Paulshof and a council-owned property near the taxi area.

“Pedestrians walking to and from the taxi area are often robbed by firearm-wielding perpetrators and we have even had a hijacking or two and some attempted ones by criminals on foot with firearms who then run into these areas.”

She stated that over these past weeks, criminals from the squatter area along the river gained entrance into a retirement village and broke into two units stealing two laptops. “Thankfully the elderly residents slept through the entire episode or we could have had a tragedy on our hands,” she explained.

She expressed they have appealed to Metro police for assistance in reducing these crimes and for more visibility in the area and the Metro police were committed to assisting them to show visibility and the importance of abiding by the bylaws in the next few weeks. “We will keep on fighting for this. Our security company is trying very hard to assist and increase manpower but legally they are not allowed to stop and search anyone or search squatter areas or squatters.”

Reiterating the same message is the head spokesperson at Sandton Police Station, Granville Meyer who issued tips to follow in order to avoid falling victim to such crimes.

“Car crime can be distressing and annoying as it can cause a lot of inconveniences – you could be without a car for weeks, waiting for the service provider to repair your vehicle or for your insurer to pay,” Meyer said.

He explained that a lot of vehicle thefts result from criminals who see opportunities and take them.

Meyer shared that, however, you can easily outsmart the car thief by following the simple advice given below:

  • Keep your valuables and possessions safe
  • A lock or other security devices are always great ways to secure your car and put off would-be thieves
  • Keep your car keys safe
  • Consider marking all your valuables, especially those you frequently take in your car and lock all doors and windows and the sunroof, every time you leave your car unattended.

“I urge community members to report crimes in the area immediately to the police station and be vigilant when commuting in the area.”

What crimes do you think are on the rise in your area? Share your views on the Fourways Review Facebook page.

  AUTHOR
Masego Seemela
Journalist

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