Robbers target businesses

VAALWATER — Business burglaries are nothing new in Vaalwater and it seems that criminals are getting bolder in their attacks on shops.
Over the weekend of 16th March, criminals broke into PEP stores. “The suspects managed to disconnect the alarms system and came in through the roof of the building sometime after the shop closed on Saturday,” explained police spokesperson, Constable Simon Makhuvele, from the Vaalwater Police station. “They broke open the safe and stole cell phones and stock to the value of R200 000. The modus operandi similar to other incidents in Vaalwater,” Makhuvele explained.
PEP stores just joined a number of other business in Vaalwater that recently suffered the same fate.
“Unemployment in Vaalwater/Lesideng is extremely high and there are a lot of people that battle to make ends meet. This causes a big problem. One way businesses can help to alleviate this problem is by employing locals to become security guards at night. We have found that this is a very effective way to keep criminals at bay.
A business in Vaalwater has not had a single incident for two years since they employed a permanent security guard,” was the opinion of Warrant Officer Petrus Lefoka of the Vaalwater Police Station.
“House break-ins are also escalating and both farm and town residents need to be a lot more safety conscious. At a lot of the properties we visit there is no security at all. Doors and gates are not locked and then people wonder why criminals get in so easily,” Makhuvele said.
“Another type of criminal activity that is cause for concern in Vaalwater is the rape of underage girls. Girls from Meetsetshehla Secondary School especially must be very aware of their surroundings. Girls should not walk alone, through the bush or late at night. Always walk to and from school in groups,” Lefoka said.
“A 14-year old girl was raped last week and the incident has been referred to the Sexual Crimes Unit in Modimolle. There are currently no suspects in this case,” Lefoka continued.

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