King Williams Town home owners urged to be extra vigilant after house robberies

MARCH 3, 2016

In an effort to quell house robberies, the police in King Williams Town on Thursday warned home owners to be alert at all times and not allow any persons, who may claim to be sent to fix or repair leaking pipes, inside their homes.

"Information has been received that there is a group of individuals posing as municipality personnel who go around the Bhisho area and rob the residents of their personal belongings," explained police spokesperson, Colonel Sibongile Soci.

"It is alleged that these individuals are driving different vehicles and when they approach the homeowner they claim that they have been sent by municipality to fix leaking pipes in the house. When they get their way, they rob home owners of their personal belongings including plasma tvs, music system etc. However, when the home owner begin to question their story further, they run away."

Colonel Soci said home owners must also ensure that their home keepers are informed about this.

"When they are not sure, they can immediately call the police or verify with the municipality."

“Visits to consumers homes are prompted by call made by consumers themselves to the municipality and a reference number is provided. So if anyone comes unannounced, that person is not sent by the municipality. If we have any program like that it would be clearly communicated to the residents and whoever is sent out to assist will have clear identification”, said Keith Ngesi, from the Buffalo City Municipality.

Soci said; "As the police, we endeavour to provide you with safety tips we have compiled to ensure that citizens are ahead of criminals. We have assembled the following safety tips, which are aimed at contributing to the safety and security of people at all times."

He said when you are at home;

  • be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes.
  • and you leave it for an extended time, have a neighbour or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail.
  • indoor and outdoor lights should be on an automatic timer.
  • leave a radio or television on so that the house looks and sounds occupied.
  • large displays of gifts should not be visible through the windows and doors of your home.
  • When there are strangers at your door;
  • ask them to produce identification and if in doubt, do not let them in your house.
  • it is not uncommon for criminals to take advantage of the generosity of people by soliciting donations door-to-door for charitable causes even though no charity is involved. Donate only to a recognized charitable organization.

"Despite the tips we have provided above, we can never be too careful or too prepared, but by observing these tips, we may avoid becoming victims. Community members are also encouraged to personalise their safety it is not just the police responsibility alone” said General Mki.