Fidelity ADT has issued a warning to residents to remain vigilant as the month-end weekend approaches. The past two months Fidelity ADT has picked up a trend where opportunistic criminals took the opportunity to earmark vulnerable homes and easy pickings.
According to Leon Muller, District Manager for Fidelity ADT, “We have seen a spike in the number of housebreak- ins and armed robberies over month end weekends in recent months. In the north and Eastern suburbs of Pretoria as well as greater Centurion. Perpetrators are lifting gates of the rails and breaking down the front door.
Muller says housebreakings are a regular and daily occurrence at all hours, but we are seeing a trend of increased number of incidents over the month end period.
Daytime seems to be the most common time and the suspects steal quick to sell items like laptops, television sets and cell phones. As of 20 June there were incidents reported in in Equestria, Meyerspark, Doornpoort, Waterkloof areas (mainly between 11am and 5pm). Suspects are also using the homeowners vehicles at getaway cars.
Residents are reminded to remain vigilant and ensure wherever possible that outside beams are activated to act as an early warning signal. “The best defence against burglars, opportunistic thieves or armed robbers is to make your property as unattractive to criminals as possible by implementing extra precautions to keep your belongings safe, inside and outside the home. We also do not recommend laptops are stored visibly unless the doors are locked and barred,” he says.
He offered the following safety tips:
- Trim trees and shrubs so that they cannot be used as a hiding place and ensure that the yard, pathways and dark corners are well-lit. Check your burglar bars and security gates for rust or weak spots as these weak spots can be easily broken or forced open
- Be sure that the household – including domestic staff – know when and how to use the alarm system and panic buttons if these are installed. They should also know who to call in an emergency – make a list of contact numbers and post them on or near a phone. If you have not been informed of the arrival of delivery people or service providers, do not open the door, even if they insist that they have an appointment
- Make sure the alarm system is armed overnight or when anyone is home alone. If possible, lock inter-leading doors to rooms that are not used overnight and keep a cell phone at the bedside in case of an emergency. Always keep your panic button with you
- Check your security often. This includes testing your alarm and panic buttons at least once a month. It also includes walls, gates, and any entry points on your property and house
- Get to know you neighbours. Neighbours are often the ones to notice something amiss in your neighbourhood and on your property. Join your local Neighbourhood Watch. There is a significant reduction of incidents of break-ins and home invasions where community groups are active
“There definitely is a similar thread running through all these incidents and we don’t anticipate this kind of opportunistic crime will go away anytime soon,” he concludes.