GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - Several people who found themselves on the wrong side of the law in Plettenberg Bay and Knysna met their match during the festive season thanks to bolstered efforts by police and other law enforcement agencies.
Operations heated up on 26 December last year, when police arrested five suspects and recovered a stolen firearm as well as several other stolen items in the two coastal holiday towns.
Southern Cape police spokesman Sergeant Chris Spies said this was as the result of an intelligence driven operation part of their Zizojika Izinto (turning the tide against crime) programme.
He said police officers from the George crime intelligence unit, Eden cluster crime combating team, Knysna crime prevention unit and Allsound Security stopped a white Nissan bakkie on the N2 near the Simola turnoff during the early hours of the morning. "Upon searching the vehicle the members found a stolen watch and burglary implements inside," Spies said.
He added the vehicle was later escorted to the police station where a thorough search was conducted. "During this search the members opened the bonnet of the bakkie and found a firearm, jewellery as well as an undisclosed amount of cash hidden behind the engine of the vehicle. Further investigation into this matter revealed that the firearm had been stolen during a burglary in Riversdale earlier."
Spies said the investigation then led the team to a house, which belongs to a 39-year-old suspect, in Kwanokuthula on the outskirts of Plettenberg Bay where a LG plasma television, expensive jewellery and a camera were confiscated.
All the suspects, aged between 33 and 42, will face charges of house burglary, theft, possession of stolen property and possession of burglary implements.
On New Year's Day police opened a murder docket following the death of a 23-year-old woman in Sishuba Street in Kwanokuthula on the outskirts of Plett.
"It is alleged that the woman was walking with friends when she fell to the ground with blood over her face. She was taken to the Knysna Provincial Hospital for medical attention, but was declared dead on arrival. A preliminary investigation revealed that she sustained a gunshot wound to her head."
Spies said a further 23 suspects were arrested for drug related offences in the Southern Cape, including Plett and Knysna, on 2 January this year. "The police confiscated 130 Mandrax tablets, dagga and Tik during these operations. Four suspects were arrested for dealing in drugs while the other suspects are facing charges of possession of drugs."
A further 355 were arrested between 3 and 5 January in the Southern Cape for various crimes ranging from murder and rape to drug possession and drunken driving.
Between 31 December 2019 and 2 January 2020, police arrested a further 32 suspects after they were found driving while under the influence of alcohol.
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