A man accused of preying on domestic workers in Milnerton from the comfort of a silver BMW Ti coupe is behind bars.
For about two weeks, the man is alleged to have prowled Peddie Road and other streets in Milnerton, jumping out of his luxury car to rob the women of their belongings at knifepoint.
However, his flashy car, with fake “Richgangs WP” personalised number plate, did not make for a particularly low-profile get-away vehicle, and, in the end, it appears to have been his undoing.
Reports of the “Richgangs robberies” were posted on the Milnerton Crime Watch (MCW) Facebook page and residents were urged to be cautious. On Friday July 1, MCW posted: “Again today we’ve had a domestic (worker) robbed by (someone in) a two-door sedan with registration Richgangs WP. The licence plate is falsified and does not exist. Should you spot the vehicle in the area, please notify the patrol vehicle immediately and do not approach.”
MCW patrol co-ordinator Craig Pedersen said the robber had usually attacked during the late afternoon and apart for a few “arbitrary people”, his main target had been domestic workers.
“The robberies were getting out of hand in terms of frequency and how low do you stoop to rob a domestic worker – someone who can least afford to lose their salary. This prompted us to take action,” said Mr Pedersen.
Mr Pedersen, along with three other MCW members, tracked down a suspect on Saturday July 2.
“We tracked him down in the Brooklyn area where his car was seen frequently. While driving down one of the roads, we spotted the suspect washing the car.”
The car they saw being washed in a garage matched the description of the vehicle linked to the robberies.
The MCW members notified the police who quickly arrested the man and impounded the vehicle.
Police spokeswoman Warrant Officer Daphne O’ Reilly confirmed that police had arrested a 28-year-old Brooklyn man who is facing four charges of robbery.
He appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday July 12 and was remanded in custody to Pollsmoor Prison. The case was postponed for further investigation, and Warrant Officer O’Reilly said a formal bail application will be heard on Thursday July 28.
“The investigating officer will request that bail be denied,” she said.
When news broke that the man would be detained until his next court appearance, residents rejoiced on the MCW Facebook page.
Mark Mausenbaum posted: “If all residents keep on acting vigilantly, keeping an eye and ear out we will prevail. If you can afford it please become a member of MCW.”
Lee King posted: “Fantastic news. Together we can and will do it.”