Criminals are after these 4 items in South Africa – and they’re looking for homes that have them

 ·12 May 2024

Fidelity ADT has warned homeowners that criminals are eyeing homes in South Africa to target items such as gas bottles, gate motors, tyres, and rims.

In a series of alerts, Fidelity ADT said that branches had received recent reports indicating a crime trend where opportunistic thieves are entering yards or jumping over fences to steal gas bottles, irrespective of the size.

The security group added that this trend has especially been noted in Ballito and Stanger, with several reported incidents in the Glen Hills area over the past week.

Another notable target—specifically in Gauteng—is the theft of gate motors.

The group said stolen gate motors are either stripped down and their various components (batteries, gearboxes, etc.) sold individually, or they are sold as complete units to unsuspecting homeowners by these “access automation bandits”, as they are often referred to.

It added there is also a worrying trend of suspects deactivating the gate motor and accessing the property while on manual override.

Once gaining access, the criminals (along with gas bottles) are also after the tyres and rims of cars in the driveway or yard.

“Within the Fidelity ADT footprint, there is a growing trend where suspects are stealing tyres from cars parked in yards during the night.

“The suspects sneak in, remove the tyres, throw them over the wall, and leave,” it said.

The security group added that the criminals typically scout the area during the day, sometimes even poisoning dogs, and then return later to steal what they want.

This is not a random act. We urge all residents not to become complacent about their perimeter security,” the group said.

“Residents are urged to remain vigilant and not to leave anything to chance. If you see anything suspicious in or around your neighbourhood, report it immediately to your private security company and local SAPS.”

Break-ins on the rise

According to the SAPS’ crime statistics for the third quarter of 2023/24, burglaries at residential premises decreased by 4.4% year-on-year. However, compared to the second quarter of 2023, burglaries at residential premises increased by 6.8%.

Additionally, although robberies with aggravated circumstances at houses increased by only 1.7% compared to the previous year, they were up almost 5.2% from the second quarter.

This shows an increasing trend for both break-ins and robberies in South Africa.

Data captured at police stations across the country recorded 40,751 cases of home burglaries between October and December 2023—roughly 453 incidents a day.

Meanwhile, the SAPS recorded 6,360 house robberies over the same period – or 71 every day.

Read: Smash-and-grab warning in South Africa – what you need to know

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