Criminals target Belper Road residents

Opportunistic criminals hit Belper Road, Wynberg, hard this week, with residents being targeted three times in one day.

Residents told the Southern Mail the first incident, a hijacking, happened around 3.15pm on Monday October 9. During the incident, two men targeted two elderly women who were getting into their car. According to the driver, whose name was not disclosed, the men had approached her from the walkway between Wetton Road bridge and Belper Road.

She said she was in the car when one of the men demanded her keys before trying to grab them from her through her open window. She struggled with him for a short while before he dragged her out of her car.

The two men then made off with the woman’s car, keys and other belongings.

Later that evening, two cars were broken into, with one incident taking place around 8.30pm and the other at 11.45pm.

Resident, Wayne van der Vent, said often perpetrators escaped via the alley way that links the road to Wetton Road bridge, or over the railway line as the fence had been removed.

This had been the case when one of the resident’s nannies was robbed at knifepoint at the end of August. The woman had been on her way home around 6pm, when a man armed with a knife grabbed her phone and handbag and made his getaway across the railway tracks.

Earlier that month – on August 14 – there was a break-in at one of the houses, and two car break-ins.

Asked about yesterday’s incidents, Warrant Officer Silvino Davids, of Wynberg police, could only confirm that the hijacking had been reported.

“It happened at 3.20pm. No arrests were made, however, we have stepped up patrols in that area.”

Abeda Joseph, chairperson of Wynberg East Neighbourhood Watch, said they do patrol in Belper Road but the hijacking was not brought up in their sub-forum meeting that evening.

However, she said they are doing more patrols due to the upcoming “silly season”.

“We have not seen anything out of the ordinary, so it is fairly quiet.”

She said they are busy with a pamphlet drive to raise awareness of the neighbourhood watch. “We go door to door because it is difficult to get residents on our groups and we have to screen them first. But we advise residents to be the eyes and ears or if they want to join, we will send them for security training.” Ms Joseph warned people to be more careful and to lock their doors and security gates.”People are warned not to walk with earphones because that is a target for crime.”