Norwood police are urging residents to be wary of suspicious-looking vehicles following them as they leave or return home.
This warning follows reports to the police of residents being robbed in Norwood as they enter their homes. According to Sergeant Nurse Tshwale, spokesperson for the Norwood Police Station, residents often reported that they had noticed a suspicious-looking vehicle following them to and from home.
“Often, residents spot these suspicious-looking vehicles, but think nothing of reporting it and, in the end, the suspects follow them home and manage to gain entry to the house when the resident opens the gates and proceed to rob them,” Tshwale said.
“We appeal to residents to not stop at their house if they spot a vehicle following them, but to rather drive to the nearest police station for protection. “This will enable the police to escort the resident home and ensure their safety or get a patrol vehicle to check the area,” she added.
Tshwale concluded by urging residents to contact the police if they noticed a suspicious-looking vehicle parked outside their house or report any suspicious activity.
With theft out of motor vehicle cases on the rise in Houghton, a recent arrest is said to be a breakthrough. On 17 May just after 2pm, three suspects were arrested as they were just about to cash in on their next victim.
According to Yaseen Theba of Vision Tactical, security officers have been monitoring what could be a syndicate operating in Houghton. “We noticed an increase in cases that were related to theft out of motor vehicles which seemed to be related to car jamming,” shared Theba. With this said, the company increased their patrols and visibility.
On the day the arrest was made, the company’s tactical team saw three well-dressed men who looked suspicious at a filling station. The suspects allegedly approached a victim who had just withdrawn money from an ATM. “They told the victim that the transaction he just made was not complete and he needed to put his card back in the machine,” Theba said.
The suspects then allegedly took the card from the victim, giving the impression that they were inserting it back in the machine, but it seemed to have not been the case. A security guard from Vision Tactical quickly stepped in and asked why they were asking for the victim’s card. An altercation ensued and the victim asked for his card back but the suspects refused. The victim then allegedly hit one of the suspects on the head.
In between all of this, police were called to the scene.
“The flying squad arrived. The suspects’ vehicle was searched and police found jamming devices, credit cards and a Speedpoint machine,” Theba said.
The suspects were arrested. Two were detained at Norwood Police Station and the third is said to be in a hospital under police guard as it is reported that he suffered some injuries to his head.
Trying to get comment from the police proved fruitless as there seemed to be confusion as to which division was handling the matter. Provincial police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said the case was being handled by the Hawks. By the time of publication, Gauteng Hawks spokesperson Captain Carol Mulamu, said their detectives were not in possession of the said docket.
Gauteng Department of Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane applauded the joint operation conducted by Gauteng Traffic Police, National Crime Intelligence, Gauteng Flying Squad and Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department which led to the arrest of two suspects upon receiving a tip-off from a member of the public about a planned business robbery in Hillbrow.
The law enforcement agencies acted swiftly and spotted a vehicle matching the description in Hillbrow with one male occupant.
After stopping the vehicle and conducting an inspection, the police discovered that the car was reported stolen in the same neighbourhood. According to police, the suspect was then taken to his house where nine AK47 rounds and 20 .303 rifle rounds were recovered.
The suspect voluntarily pointed out his accomplice who resides in Melville where a further 14 9mm rounds were found in his possession.
The suspects were detained at Brixton and Hilbrow police stations, respectively.
They were charged with unlawful possession of ammunition, possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of a fake identity document. The second suspect, who is a most-wanted criminal, was linked to about 20 cases of business robberies and armed robberies in and outside Gauteng.
Police also linked this suspect to bank robberies in Vosloorus and Johannesburg Central, an attempted business robbery and an attempted murder in Bramley.
Nkosi-Malobane said, “I applaud the whistle-blower who assisted in the arrest of the most-wanted suspect for a spate of business robberies in and outside Gauteng. Community intelligence is indeed key in the fight against crime. I am hopeful that the arrest of these two suspects will restore business confidence in the affected areas.”
Nkosi-Malobane also appealed to the criminal justice system not to grant them bail and to ensure that they face the full might of the law. “I also appeal to the citizens of Gauteng to assist law enforcement agencies in rooting out these brazen and callous criminals from our society,” she said.
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