PLETTENBERG BAY NEWS - Residents of Plettenberg Bay are being warned to be more vigilant after an increase in burglaries and theft out of vehicles over the past month.
During a recent meeting between local police and other security stakeholders it came to light that there were 11 burglaries and 10 incidents of theft out of vehicles over the past month.
"Although this is relatively low compared to days gone by, it is above recent levels, warranting increased vigilance," said Plettenberg Bay Crime Prevention Association (PBCPA) chair Bruce Richardson.
He added that this comes after several criminals were released from prison either on parole or following completed sentences. "Most of the offenders in question are well known and our experience of them leads us to believe that they will return to their old ways shortly after being released and our expectations in this regard have been realised with an increase in the number of home burglaries and theft out of motor vehicles being perpetrated in the area," he said.
There has also been a significant shift to crime in the Plettenberg Bay town area away from the New Horizons and Qolweni area, which has been a priority sector for several months now, Richardson said.
"Residents in town need to increase their level of security awareness until the criminals in question have been rearrested and sent back to prison."
The main areas affected, he said, include the CBD, Marine Drive and Poortjies. "These are the most easily accessible parts of the town so residents of those areas need to be particularly vigilant – not only on our own behalf but on behalf of the visitors to our town."
Richardson urged residents to become part a local neighbourhood watch group and report any suspicious activity or movement to help prevent any crime being committed.
One of the victims of a theft from a vehicle was a Plett Rage attendee.
"The vehicle was broken into and a large amount of property taken. It was left overnight in an exposed position."
"As residents we should not allow our visitors to be exposed to this type of criminal activity – if any of you see this type of situation, it is your duty to advise the visitor that his or her property is not safe exposed in a vehicle overnight and to recommend that the property be removed to a safe repository."
Richardson said most activities had taken place on Monday nights followed by Saturdays and Tuesdays, with prime hours between 18:00 and midnight.
"The vast majority of break-ins into houses is by forcing open a door which leads me to believe that residents may be paying scant attention to my urgings to install proper, secure drop-type locks to their exterior doors."
They also found that people are still leaving valuables in their vehicles. "Please remember that the more difficult we make accessing our homes and property, the less attractive it is for criminals to operate in our area."
'We bring you the latest Plettenberg Bay, Garden Route news'