PLETTENBERG BAY NEWS – After the cunning execution of a home robbery in Plettenberg Bay last week, local crime fighters have warned residents to be vigilant.
Lisa Nagel of Plett.Watch, the town's neighbourhood watch group, reported that residents living in Maplin Drive fell victim to two robbers who pretended that they were delivering a package.
"A charcoal grey vehicle, either a Volkswagen Polo or a Renault, with two people in it, arrived at the gate on the pretext of having a parcel for delivery to that address," Nagel said.
The family's domestic worker offered to take the parcel over the gate, but was allegedly informed that the parcel was too heavy for her to carry.
"She let them in through the gate and once on the property they demanded money," said Nagel.
The suspects were armed with a handgun and a knife. The domestic worker and another victim, one of the homeowners, were tied up. Cash and photographic equipment were taken. "These criminals referred to the residents by name and knew where they work," said Nagel.
The two had fled the scene by the time police and other security staff arrived.
Nagel said the incident was a wake-up call to be vigilant. "Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on our whole country economically and has affected every person," she said. "Jobs have been lost, breadwinners have passed away and tourism has suffered a mighty blow, with many repercussions in the industry."
She warned that residents should refer beggars to the nearest soup kitchen and not provide handouts, as it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between those really in need and those who use this tactic to commit crime.
"Please do not allow anyone onto your premises unless you know them personally or have scrutinised their credentials very well. Do not let any deliveries be made to your premises without first having seen documentation from the company and identification from the delivery personnel. If you do receive a delivery, do not let anyone into your house, but rather let them leave the parcel at your front door or just inside your gate."
Residents should also take note of any vehicle or person behaving suspiciously and report it. "If possible, get details of clothing, appearance, registration number, make of the vehicle and whatever else you can."
Nagel also urged residents to keep security gates locked and to lock doors and windows when they leave their premises.
"We need to, first and foremost, ensure our own and our families' safety before we can think of others. Make sure you have educated and created awareness in your immediate family and staff members so that everyone is vigilant. If we each look after ourselves and our loved ones, and make others aware of criminal activity, we will go a long way towards bringing crime down in our beautiful Plett."
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