Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Afrikaans parents, children in Centurion, Wierdabrug, Valhalla schools parking lots targets of aggressive smash grab gangs

Description Afrikaans parents, children in Centurion, Wierda Park, Valhalla school parking lots targets of aggressive smash and grab gangs 20 April 2012 -- Wierdabrug police: (Phone: 012-6544031 Fax: 012-6548857) -- Aggressive thieves smash car windows and grab the articles from vehicles. Afrikaans Primary school Swartkop in Valhalla had recently become one of the main centres of attraction for these thieves. According to ward councillor Ina Strijdom, the attackers operate in groups. One stays in a get-away vehicle while the others do ‘shopping’. Strijdom added that the Wierda Bridge community police forum (CPF) recorded five incidents since December 2011. Another two incidents were recorded since the start of schools in April 2012. These were only incidents that the CPF are aware of. Strijdom urged parents to be careful.“You might think you are only leaving your vehicle for five minutes, but these criminals need only a few seconds to smash your window and steal your valuables. Parents should rather leave valuables locked away in the boot of their vehicles,” Strijdom said. Strijdom was of the opinion that the thieves are moving between schools.“Once their modus operandi is clear to residents and the CPF, they move to the next school. We had similar incidents at Vhalliespark Primary School formerly known as Laerskool Valhalla. The thieves are opportunists looking out for soft targets,” she said. Strijdom requested the Tshwane metro to erect Smash and Grab signs outside the school to alert parents. Incidents of cell phone theft from pupils were also recorded and the children should also take care when walking in the streets to and from schools. “I will try my utmost to assist the schools in my ward with regard to safety. The children are our future and we should protect them,” Strijdom said. According to Carel Cronjé, principal of Laerskool Swartkop, he is concerned about the situation and urged parents and children to be alert at all time. The CPF would be patrolling the area on a more regular basis.

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