There has been a marked increase in contact crimes where armed suspects have held up motorists or assaulted residents at home and at their business premises over the past week.
Blue Security Managing Director Darryn le Grange said the trend was prevalent in suburbs across Durban with areas affected including Westville, Kloof, Umbilo, Glenwood and New Germany.
“Criminals are brazenly seizing opportunities to enter homes in broad daylight and are holding up residents and robbing them of their cell phones, laptops, jewellery and cash,” le Grange said.
In one incident in Westville, Aberfoyle Road, last week a resident had just arrived home when she was ambushed by four armed men in a white Golf. Suspects held her up and took her car before entering the house and stealing an unknown amount of jewellery.Suspects driving a Toyota Corolla also hijacked a resident in Robin Road taking his Toyota RunX.
Le Grange advised residents to always be vigilant for suspicious activity when arriving and leaving home.
“When arriving home keep your car parallel to the verge while your gate opens so that you have less chance of being blockedin by hijackers and will be able to make a quick getaway if there is any suspicious activity,” le Grange.
In another incident a resident in Crestview, Valley Road was assaulted after she went to investigate why her dogs were barking.He struck her on the head and fled.
“Rather than investigate suspicious activity residents should press their panic buttons for armed response and call the police. Even if it is just a visiting troupe of monkeys passing through your garden rather be safe than sorry,” le Grange said.
Other incidents included armed robberies and hijackings. Armed suspects entered a property in Wright Place in Carrington Heights at 9am and held up the owner. A cell phone and an undisclosed amount of jewellery were stolen. In Glenwood, two men armed with knives held up a resident and stole rings.
Two armed black males hijacked a motorist, who had stopped in Circuit Road, Westmead, to buy food. The suspects followed him out of the shop, held him up and fled with his maroon Mitsubishi bakkie ND 59529.
In Hillcrest, three men armed with a knife entered a resident’s laundry room and robbed her of her watch. They fled when she screamed and her husband rushed into the room. There were no injuries.
“Clearly, criminals are watching for opportunities like open doors and residents who are not alert to their surroundings.If we are to combat crime together residents need to play their part in remaining vigilant,” le Grange said.
What has your experience or observation been regarding contact crime in your area in recent weeks?