JOHANNESBURG- Police have warned South Africans to keep their windows closed over the festive to avoid mosquitoes and robberies.
Brooklyn Police Station spokesperson Captain Colette Weilbach said at a recent Tshwane Central Cluster Crime Combatting Forum meeting, crime tendencies were discussed for the seven police stations within the cluster and they picked up on robberies targeting houses with open windows due to the hot weather.
“At least two incidents were reported within the Garsfontein and Silverton areas where the house robbers were looking for houses with open windows in security complexes. The complainants reported to the police that they were sleeping with open windows due to the heat. Major General Botsheleng raised the concern that residents are not safety conscious enough and make themselves vulnerable through their negligence. She used some humour and said that open windows not only give access to mosquitoes but also give access to those mosquitoes with firearms,” said Weilbach.
She said the Tshwane Central Cluster South African Police Service (SAPS) would be out in full force this festive season to ensure that communities feel safe but she urged community members to remain alert and not let their guard down.
Weilbach said people must be observant at all times, report any suspicious vehicles that are parked in the driveway of a neighbour’s house, especially if the neighbours are away for the holidays.
“Develop a habit of locking doors and closing windows, even when you are home. Upgrade security measures at back doors, kitchen windows and sliding doors. Do not leave valuables like laptops and cell-phones near an open window where it is easily accessible from the outside. Panic buttons that are strategic available inside the house can be activated to send out an audible or silent alarm as soon as an intruder or threat is encountered,” she said.
Other steps mentioned include:
- Create and keep safe a register where serial numbers of electrical appliances are recorded. This will allow the police to circulate items immediately as stolen.
- Leave expensive jewellery and watches at home while doing Christmas shopping.
- Be aware that criminals sometimes follow their victims to home to rob them in their driveways while they wait for electrical gates to open.
- Expensive watches and jewellery are amongst valuables that get robbed.
- Contact security companies for additional patrols if you are going away for the holidays. Test alarms before leaving on holidays.
- Also ask neighbours to keep a watchful eye on your property while gone. Vehicle-related crimes are still too high. Remove all valuables from parked vehicles.
- Ask visitors to parked inside the yard where possible and not on the pavement.
- When going out choose the safest possible parking spot where visible security is available.
- Pedestrians must conceal valuables and refrain from using cell-phones in public.
- Street robbers are targeting pedestrians for their cell-phones. Report any suspicious persons, vehicles (especially ones without number plates) or circumstances to the police immediately by phoning the 10111 emergency-number.