15 August 2019


Submitted by Jacqui

Residents in the Vaal areas are once again warned to be vigilant during the day when crime levels are highest and theft out of motor vehicles is still a problem.

Elizna Schulz, Branch Manager for Fidelity ADT says Sasolburg and Vaalpark have been identified as hotspots for break-ins during the day at a recent CPF/SAPS meeting. “Often during the day people are less vigilant and forget to set alarms and outside beams in their property.”

“In our experience we have found that security measures like electric fences, detection beams and Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) are still key deterrents to crime, as are pets. Small dogs that sleep inside the house are also seen as a deterrent. How secure your neighbourhood is, is also a meaningful factor. If robbers are scouting carefully they will view regular patrol and a strong neighbourhood watch system as a good reason to move on,” she says.

“The bottom line is you always need to remain vigilant. Act as if you are being watched and take all necessary precautions. Your security starts with having the correct domestic and gardening employees who are well vetted and au fait with your security protocols, to having the right security measures around your home; to living in a community that supports and has good security protocols,” she says. .

With regard to theft out of motor vehicles, Schulz urges drivers to remember to keep their boots locked at all times. “Criminals have been opening boots while drivers are stationary in traffic, grabbing what they can and running off.”

“Don’t drive with valuables in your car that can be seen through the window. Rather lock these items in the boot. Perhaps consider putting a polycarb film on the windows to assist in the event of a smash and grab incident. These can be tinted so that no one can see into the car, while also preventing the windows from shattering.
Other useful tips include:

  • Lock all your doors and never open vehicle windows or doors for strangers.
  • Avoid opening your windows or getting involved in discussions with street vendors or anyone handing out flyers.
  • Be constantly on the lookout for suspicious looking characters.
  • Always be conscious of your surroundings and remain alert when coming to an intersection or stopping your vehicle.
  • Be wary of people standing at intersections.
  • If you encounter obstacles such as rocks or tyres do not get out of your vehicle to remove them; immediately reverse and drive off in the opposite direction.

Leave a gap between you and the car in front of you to give you room to escape if you need to.

Schulz says in the unfortunate event that a motorist is involved in an incident they must remember not to become aggressive or struggle for their possessions. “Letting the criminal take your handbag or cell phone could save your life. What’s important is that you report the incident to the police as soon as possible. The SAPS rely on intelligence to manage hotspots and trends. Another important thing to remember is to take your vehicle to the police so they can collect finger prints. It is difficult to make positive arrests without finger prints. Your assistance could make the difference,” she concludes.

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