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Solar panels targeted by criminals

Fidelity suggests installing good perimeter and interior security and to store tools such as ladders in a locked shed to curb potential thieves.

“Because criminals continue to shift and change their patterns and behaviour, it is essential that homeowners keep up with trends and improved ways to secure their homes, said Charnel Hattingh, the group head of marketing and communications at Fidelity ADT.

Because of the energy crisis, more homeowners are investing in energy-savvy products that appeal to criminals. A new trend is criminals targeting solar panels.

“Over the past few weeks, we have received reports of solar panels stolen from properties, usually during the day while homeowners are at work,” says Hattingh.

To stay ahead of opportunistic criminals, your home must be less of a target. Make it as hard as you can for criminals to carry out their plans on your property.

Hattingh offers these safety tips:
• Ensure that your yard is well lit at all times.

• Have barrier security installed (electric fences, beams, sensor lights, burglar bars and interior detection).

• Lock away tools and garden equipment. Don’t let your ladder be how criminals get onto your balcony or roof.

• Never leave your wheelie bin out overnight because criminals not only use these to climb on, but they also use them to transport stolen goods.

• Trim shrubs and bushes because they are a good hiding spot for criminals.

• Always keep your alarm armed. Use the features the alarm offers (ie stay mode, sleep mode, away mode).

• Join your neighbourhood watch and street WhatsApp group.

• Visible armed response signage is a deterrent.

• Install quality CCTV cameras around your premises to help the SAPS with their investigations and to deter criminals.


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Remain vigilant and leave nothing to chance. If you see anything suspicious in your neighbourhood, immediately report it to your security company and the SAPS.

In addition, all incidents must be quickly reported to the police so that they are logged as crime statistics.

“Crime statistics help the police strategise and allocate the resources to suburbs, with private security companies and other stakeholders, to protect lives by better-managing crime, curbing trends and equipping the justice system,” concluded Hattingh.



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