Keith Blake, Ottery
On Thursday July 14, in the late morning, I heard my two Dober-mann watchdogs barking. I looked over my fence and where my car was parked on the opposite side of the road saw a Toyota Yaris slightly behind my car.
Inside this car, which was still running, were two young boys and the passenger had a hoody on his head.
What struck me was that both these young men had their cellphones in front of them as if they were taking pictures or a video of my car or of my neighbour’s house. I went out of retirement and went into police mode and the next moment the driver of the car drove off slowly and the boys still had the cell-phones in front of their faces. I became really highly suspi-cious. I watched how this car went to the end of my road, which is a cul-de -sac, stop and slowly reversed back and went down a side road towards Applemist Road, Ottery.
I ran to my vehicle and decided to follow this really suspicious vehicle and it drove slowly down the road but the two young men still had their cellphones in front of their faces.
I followed them into Barbette Road, Ottery, which is also a cul-de-sac and here this car stopped for a while.
They then slowly reversed and drove towards my direction and, yes, the driver and the passenger still had cellphones in front of their faces. I immediately phoned 10111 and told them of this suspicious young men in their vehicle and what they were doing and where they were now and I gave the car’s registration number.
The very caring and helpful operator told me he will take the necessary action. I then decided to do a citizen’s crime prevention action and blocked the vehicle and cautiously approached the two young men. They were first apprehensive and to a degree confrontational and I asked them what they were doing as I had observed them in front of my house and their cellphones, actions and drive and stop manoeuvres. It seemed as if they were taking pictures of my car and of my neighbour’s house and these actions to a retired policeman is very suspicious.
Then to my utter surprise and total disbelief these two men showed me their cellphones and what seemed like a Google map.
They told me they were playing the new Pokémon Go game and they are looking for the Pokémon. I was totally confused at this and they told me the game can be done on foot or in a vehicle to find this Pokémon and they suggested I should play this game and I promptly told them I have no petrol to waste. At that moment my cellphone rang and it was a police officer from Lansdowne who had phoned me after I made my call to 10111 and he gave me the address and surname of the owner of the sus-picious vehicle and the driver confirmed it.
Still in disbelief, I sent a WhatsApp message to the Ottery Gardens Neighbour-hood Watch chairman and told him exactly what had transpired and I made a comment now that criminals can now drive around with cellphones taking pictures of our children, properties, businesses and our vehicles and when confronted can use the alibi or the excuse that they are playing this game.
What also comes to mind is if motorist play this game while driving.
What a danger this is for all other road users.
Can someone clear up this situation as I am still in the dark with this story on how it works.