Spike in Summer Greens muggings, warns watch

Summer Greens Drive is one of the hot spots for muggings in recent months, according to the neighbourhood watch.

There have been nearly 20 muggings in the streets of Summer Greens over the past two months, according to the neighbourhood watch.

Summer Greens Neighbourhood Watch chairman Craig Alexander says they know of 18 muggings and at least one hijacking between the beginning of May and July 13.

“These are those that have come to our attention on the street groups. There is possibly more because we only find out after an incident happens. In a lot of cases, the victims are foreign nationals, and they might not speak to residents or know of people who are in the community groups,“ said Mr Alexander.

“We always hear at the pub by the guys drinking there how people are getting robbed every day, but these are not verified. Milnerton SAPS is aware of these incidents. However, the sad reality is that the victims seldom go and open cases or report it.”

Sanddrift, Tygerhof and other parts of Milnerton had also seen an increase in muggings, he said.

Last month, Tabletalk reported on criminals targeting Summer Greens spaza shops (“Summer Greens robberies on the rise, say residents,“ Tabletalk, June 7), but, according to Mr Alexander, the street robbers have a different modus operandi.

In many of the cases, the robberies had involved four men in a car taking money and cellphones from women and young teenagers walking in public, said Mr Alexander, adding that in Summer Greens there had been incidents in Heath Road, Park Green, Gretna Green, Green Way, School Road and Summer Greens Drive.

Various vehicles had been used, including a Toyota Etios, a Toyota Avanza, a Suzuki Ertiga, a VW Polo, a Honda Brio and a Honda Amaze, and most of the robberies had been committed from 6am to 7am or from 7pm to 10pm.

Tabletalk asked Milnerton SAPS about specific cases in Summer Greens and Milnerton, the number of reported cases, whether there was a spike in cases and whether there had been any arrests. Milnerton police spokeswoman Captain Nopaya Madyibi said: “Street robberies, in general, is a concern for Milnerton SAPS. Victims are targeted for cellphones and money. The most prominent arrests with these crimes are people with toy guns. People are urged to follow safety tips, not to advertise their valuables.“

City Metro Police spokeswoman Ruth Solomons said municipal police officers patrolled many neighbourhoods but could not maintain a static presence in a particular area.

“The public is urged to please report incidents of crime or anti-social behaviour to the Public Emergency Communication Centre by dialling 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline. This will also assist in helping to identify hot spots and resources required to respond,” she said.

Community Safety MEC Reagen Allen advised the public to improve lighting around the entrances to their homes and join their local neighbourhood watch or community police forum.

Robin Jafta, of Summer Greens, said residents should take more precautions to avoid falling prey to crime.

“I’ve seen so many people, young and old, walking at all times of the day looking down at their phones in their hands and not paying attention to their surroundings. It shouldn’t be up to residents to police themselves. People should feel safe wherever they are, but we still need to be more vigilant out in our roads.”