Over the last few weeks there have been several crime trends that have come to the fore. Stuart Clarkson, Executive Manager Fidelity ADT, says the public needs to be aware of these trends and spread the word. “The SAPS as well as security providers are aware of these trends and are doing what they can to educate the public and stop these criminals. However, vigilance and pro-activity from community members goes a long way to bringing these trends to an end,” he says.
Here are the top five trends and security tips:
- Gangsters emulating the notorious Rolex gangsters are once again active around Melrose, Sandton and the Blue Bird Shopping Centre. Spotters at restaurants, in shopping malls and parking areas are a real problem resulting in “follow homes” and robberies. Keep expensive watches covered and avoid wearing flashy jewellery when out and about. Always be aware and vigilant of your surroundings especially when leaving a restaurant or shopping centre.
- There has been an increase in theft out of motor vehicles as well as smash-and-grab incidents, especially at busy intersections such as Woodmead Drive, Sandton Drive, William Nicol Drive and Bowling Avenue. Be mindful when driving or walking in these areas, especially during peak hour traffic. Put valuables in your boot and keep it locked at all times.
- There have also been incidents of armed robberies at intersections on Jan Smuts Avenue. Drivers need to be on high alert. These incidents have gone beyond the regular smash and grab to actual armed robberies. These criminals work in groups of two to three. One will distract the driver by knocking on the passenger window, for example, while the other individuals will approach the driver’s door with firearms. Be vigilant and, if possible, leave a gap between you and the car in front of you as an escape route.
- Pick pockets are on the increase in stores. Criminals are targeting shoppers whose bags are open with purses exposed, bags put in shopping trolleys and so on. Keep your bag zipped up, wallets in front pants pockets and never put your bag in a trolley. Make sure your cell phone is out of site as well as any cash that you may be carrying.
- There have been several incidents where people catching taxis from the airport have been robbed at intersections and Gautrain users have been mugged outside stations. This often happens when people are on their phones or distracted as they leave the airport or stations. They have valuable items exposed, bags not zipped up and are perfect targets for these opportunistic criminals lying in wait. Stay alert, get off your phone and put your belongings away safely and out of site. If you suspect an individual, seek help from the nearest security guard on duty.