Increase in burglaries prompts police warning

House burglaries increased significantly in March.

Mpumalanga police have warned residents of a high increase in house burglaries in the area.

This came after a number of burglaries were reported since the beginning of March, Ridge Times reports.

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Police said most of the incidents happened while residents were away, and at night while residents are asleep or out for the night.

Const Thomas Mogadime, Communications and Social Crime Prevention officer at Bethal SAPS, said residents can help the police to limit the opportunities for crimes to be committed by enhancing safety measures.

He called on locals to erect high fences around the house.

“The primary aim is to make access/intrusion difficult and to allow dogs to move freely around the house.

“Ensure that your gates are locked at all times and that the keys cannot be reached easily or are not lying around uncontrolled.

“Insert barring devices in door locks and remove keys from doors when you leave. Security gates with sturdy locks in front of each outer door, including sliding doors, as well as burglar proofing covering all windows are recommended.

“Critically evaluate your security at your home. The more effort it takes and the harder it is to break into your home, the less appealing your home becomes to criminal elements.”

Constable Mogadime said alarm systems, preferably connected to an armed response company, can act as an effective deterrent.

An alarm must also have the capability to warn the occupants of any intrusion into the house.

“Security lights on the outside of the house improve the physical protection of a house, farm or small holding.

“The lights must be directed away from the house and must allow the occupants to use the windows without being observed from the outside.

“Be aware of possible shadows and blind spots. Ensure that all doors are locked at all times. Large dogs serve as a deterrent. At least one dog should be trained to sleep inside the house.

“Vary your daily routine and be aware of the fact that someone may be watching your sleeping patterns and movements.

“If you know your neighbour is out for the day or evening or on holiday, you can help by casting an eye over the property every now and again.”

Police urged the community to report any form of crime by contacting Bethal Police Station at 017 647 9929/30.

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