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House invasions on the rise

The tranquil life in Pringle Bay recently came under threat as two families became the victims of house invasions.

The Pringle Bay Street Watch (PBSW) has issued a statement to all their members warning them of the recent surge of house invasions.

“There is an alarming new trend in the criminal activity occurring in our village. House invasions, where the occupants are held hostage by assailants, are on the increase with at least two taking place during the last month,” reads the statement.

Charmaine Stephenson, the Sector Head and Treasurer of the PBSW, confirmed both of the incidents, but mentioned that she can’t divulge names and addresses of any victims due to limitations in the constitution of PBSW.

She could not give any info of the first incident that apparently took place on 20 August, but she confirmed the second incident that took place on 24 August. “A gentleman was smoking outside last Saturday at 02:00 when the incident happened. The house that he rented has an alarm, but it was not activated. In both cases the families were here on holiday and were not permanent residents,” says Stephenson.

WO Martin Mostert, spokesperson for Kleinmond Police, confirmed the house invasion case of 24 August, but mentioned that no case of house invasion has been opened for 20 August in Pringle Bay.

“Two unknown males overpowered a man while he was standing outside taking a smoke. These criminals stole various household items including electronics before they made their escape. No arrests have been made to date,” says Mostert.

Mike Bolhuis, a well known private detective, says that house invasions can be seen as opportunistic robberies.

“The biggest form of crime in South Africa is house invasion and murder and rape form a big part of these house invasions,” says Bolhuis.

According to him holiday-goers are under the impression that when they leave their permanent residence and go to their holiday homes, crime will also stay behind.

“I want holiday-goers to form a type of paranoia. They should be aware of what is going on around them at all times. Make sure that your alarm systems and beams are also working and activate them. Lock all of the doors and security gates inside the house.”

Bolhuis also explains that holidaymakers take all of their fancy electronics and laptops with them, this in turn lures the criminals.

“The criminals that perform these house invasions are not from outside the community. They live close by and they know exactly what is going on at all of these houses.

“Do no give out any unnecessary information about your house or whatever valuable you have inside your house to anyone. This includes people who clean your house and work in your gardens.

“If you see any strange vehicles or people outside your house immediately take a photo or go and ask them what or who they are looking for,” says Bolhuis.

He concludes and asks the community of Pringle Bay to take hands with the police and local neighbourhood watch and to spread information about what is going on in and around the community.

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