Newcastle beware burglaries are on the rise

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DRAKENSBERG – Burglaries are increasing in Newcastle suburbs.

A resident in Drakensberg Avenue, Barry Hertzog Park, claimed his home was nearly burgled last Tuesday night.

“It was about 11pm and I was making myself a cup of coffee, when I heard a noise outside. I went outside and saw a man tampering with the lock of my gate.”

When he came closer and grabbed the suspect by shoulder, the resident immediately regretted his decision.

“When I grabbed him, he pulled out a knife and cut me slightly on my left arm before he ran away.”

The resident immediately contacted the police and Newcastle 911 Community Policing Forum, but the suspect escaped.

This was not the only brazen criminal act during the past week.

In Lennoxton, a man attempted to gain access to a house by pretending to work for a paving company.

“My home’s intercom system is connected to my family’s cellphones. A man came to my home at about 12pm, pushed the intercom button, which was then answered by my dad on his phone. The man claimed he was there to repair our paving.”

The resident said the whole situation was suspicious.

“Usually my domestic worker leaves after 3pm, but that day she left at 12pm. My dad came home for quick lunch, and as soon as he left, the man came to the gate, trying to get in. It is as if he was watching from somewhere close to see when my dad would leave.”

The man eventually left when the resident’s father denied him access to the yard and threatened to contact the police.

That same night, someone tried to break into the resident’s fiancée’s home in Aviary Hill.

“The man was about to jump over the wall, when he saw my fiancée had a video camera placed by the gate.

The suspect left, but since then has returned three more times to see how he could gain access to the home.

Another resident in Loerie Street was recently awakened when the alarm system at her house was triggered. She was horrified when she saw someone had removed the burglar guards from one the windows of the lounge.

Chairperson of Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Alex Liu, said the Chinese community had also been affected by the recent spate of burglaries.

“I have heard of three burglaries in the Industrial Area in the past month, which is a much higher number compared to last year.”

According to Mr Liu, a lot of Chinese residents lived in their factories, a fact that was well-known by perpetrators. Currently, Mr Liu fears the burglaries will escalate into armed robberies and people might be hurt by the culprits.

Police Communication, Liaison and Marketing Spokesperson, Lizzy Arumugam, confirmed the increase in burglaries and assured residents the police were patrolling in order to minimise it.

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Quinton Boucher

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