Motorists warned of smash- and-grab incidents at Bosmansdam Bridge

Edgemead Neighborhood Watch (NHW) have increased patrols at the intersection on Bosmansdam Bridge, on the off-ramp from the N7, coming from Goodwood.

Bosmansdam Bridge has been flagged as a smash-and-grab hotspot.

Motorists are being warned to be aware of their surroundings when driving on the off-ramp from the N7, at the intersection at the bridge.

The Edgemead Neighborhood Watch (NHW) said more than five smash-and-grab incidents have been reported there and there have calls for increased patrols during the past few weeks.

Between 9.30pm and midnight is said to be the peak time for smash-and-grabs at the intersection.

Edgemead NHW spokesman, Mark Richards, said: “We’re actively patrolling the area during the peak time for attacks. We’re doing these as high visibility patrols, meaning white strobe lights on vehicles and high visibility decals.”

He added that with the support of Bothasig Police, Milnerton police and other law enforcement agencies, he can account for at least two incidents where alleged criminals were chased from the intersection.

“Our biggest weapon is continued high visibility patrols and warning motorists to vigilant,” he said.

One of the NHW members, who did not want to be named fearing victimisation, shared his experience of an attempted smash-and-grab incident, at this exact intersection on the evening of Tuesday January 3.

He did not lay any charges because none of his valuables were stolen, but warned residents to be vigilant and called for camera’s and lights to be set up at the spot.

He said, he and his partner were driving along the dark road just at after 11pm, at N7 off-ramp at the first set of traffic lights.

He said he had no intention of stopping at the traffic light if it was red, keeping in mind that it is illegal but he feared for his safety.

“I slowed down enough to see if there was any oncoming traffic, and there wasn’t, but to my right a shadow crept up on me and we just heard a loud bang and the back window was completely shattered,” he said.

He quickly put his foot down on the accelerator and in his rear view mirror, could see someone running after the car.

“I don’t believe this was opportunistic. They must be practising and planning their attacks because we found the piece of a spark plug that was used to smash the window,” he said.

“Our area’s are not safe,. It leaves us with resentment and anger,” he said.

He said he commended NHW and police for being proactive, as he has seen increased patrols happening at the spot.

Community activist Brett Steensma said Milnerton police and Bothasig police are working together to stop criminal activity at the intersection. He encouraged residents to be vigilant.

“The situation unfortunately requires motorists to be extra vigilant too as combating this crime requires assistance from the community. Anyone who sees anything suspicious on the affected routes should contact both Milnerton and Bothasig police,” he said.

Milnerton community police forum (CPF) spokesperson, Jacqui Pember, said this intersection has been of concern as there are quite a few nefarious looking characters that hang out behind Summer Greens and across the way to the other side of the N7.

She said traffic can get quite backed up at these traffic lights during peak hours which gives criminals a chance to strike and warned motorists to pack away their belongings and keep it out of sight.

“Anything visible is fair game and we advise people to keep valuables out of sight – either tucked under their legs in the footwell or locked in the boot. Even if not valuable, anything that looks worth stealing will attract attention. Avoid being a smash-and-grab victim,” she added.

Milnerton police and Bothasig police did not respond to questions emailed to them on Thursday, January 12. Calls to both police stations went unanswered.