Newcastle residents are being urged to exercise caution as a wave of residential burglaries sweeps through the town, resulting in the tragic deaths of several beloved dogs.
In just one week, the Newcastle South African Police Service (SAPS) has received reports of nine burglaries in Newcastle, raising concerns about the safety and security of local communities.
Lizzy Arumugam, the spokesperson for the Newcastle SAPS, highlighted the alarming surge in burglaries, emphasising that various suburbs have become prime targets for criminals. The affected areas include Sunny Ridge, Aviary Hill, Hutten Heights, Pioneer Park, Schuinshoogte, and Barry Hertzog Park.
Perpetrators are taking advantage of the cover of darkness provided by winter and loadshedding, executing their crimes during the early hours of the morning.
However, the situation has taken an even more sinister turn. Ismaeel Dhalech from Optimus Protection Service revealed that burglars have resorted to poisoning dogs as a means to gain access to targeted homes undisturbed.
“There have been four to five dogs poisoned in the past month,” Dhalech disclosed, explaining that these ruthless tactics are employed to circumvent the animals’ natural instinct to protect their owners.
Furthermore, the most commonly targeted items by burglars, according to Dhalech, are gardening equipment, gate motors, copper pipes, bicycles, and household appliances.
In response to the escalating crime wave, Arumugam stressed the importance of taking proactive measures to safeguard homes. Whereby, she provided the following tips to help residents protect themselves:
– Ensure all doors and gates on your property are securely locked, and windows are properly closed.
– Foster good relationships with your neighbours, encouraging mutual vigilance and cooperation in safeguarding residences.
– Keep valuable items out of sight and hide potential tools that could aid in breaking into your home, such as axes, spades, picks, and ladders.
– Consider installing timers on interior lights and exterior motion or solar lights to deter potential intruders.
Moreover, Ismaeel Dhalech further emphasised the need for vigilance and urged residents to report any suspicious individuals in their neighbourhoods.
He revealed that burglaries are often preceded by scoping out a suburb, making it crucial for residents to remain vigilant and promptly report any unusual activity.
As the number of burglaries continues to rise and reports of poisoned dogs shock the community, it is imperative to address the issue collectively.
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