Floodlights stolen from Gholfsig residence

A thief wasted no time in commencing with his crime spree as the new year makes its arrival, after stripping lights from the wall of a Gholfsig residence.

According to DA Ward Councillor Elsie Vermooten, the incident occurred on Saturday morning at 05:00, after a suspect stole all the floodlights erected outside the home in Eeufees Street.

Cllr Vermooten told the Middelburg Observer that residents on her Ward 14 WhatsApp group suspect that the thief is the same man who had been caught stealing lights previously at which “the police just let him go and did nothing”.

The suspect is well-known by many residents and is frequently seen prowling the area.

“Just like it is throughout Middelburg, the theft of lights has become a problem in Gholfsig. If you have lighting outside your home, you can guarantee they’re going to get stolen,” Cllr. Vermooten said.

Though residents can’t prove it, they believe the same suspect is behind recent incidents.

• A resident of West Street, Natascha Old, told the Middelburg Observer that they were targeted no less than three times last year by light thieves.

“In a question of four to six months, we lost three sets of outside lighting. First we put up solar lights which got stolen, then we went for normal lights with a solar bulb, which were also stolen, and finally just traditional motion detecting floodlights.”

The couple at first suspected that it was someone who had a vendetta against them, because they were being targeted repeatedly, but are now convinced that it might be the same suspect.

“I feel the municipality is playing a role in these crimes because our streetlights are out of order. Its exactly because of non-working streetlights, that we as residents put up our own outdoor lighting. We have reported them for over two years and nothing gets done, and we are now sitting in a huge dark spot.”

Ms. Old also pointed out that residents are targeted during load-shedding.

While she could not give an estimated total cost of the damages they have incurred, she mentioned that their first set of solar lights cost about R8 000, “we decided to install cheaper lighting after the thefts.”

The suspect was seen stealing lights from a home in Daleen Matthee Street.

• The photos shared with the Middelburg Observer were obtained through video footage that was captured of an incident which unfolded in March last year, at a home in Daleen Matthee Street where lights were stolen twice from the same residence.

While residents can’t prove it, they have strong suspicions that the same suspect is behind the recent spate of thefts.

Gholfsig was also plagued by a thief targeting water meters late last year, “The article identifying the water meter thief certainly helped, and we have since experienced fewer incidents, so we are hoping that the same will apply to our light thief,” Cllr Vermooten concluded.

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