Hot spot cooling down, police say

Smash-and-grabs at the intersection of Jakes Gerwel Drive and Voortrekker Road, Goodwood, have dropped dramatically, say police.

Acting Goodwood station commander Lieutenant-Colonel Hennie Rademeyer told a Sector 1 sub-forum meeting last week that there had been only one incident since the police and neighbourhood watches launched Project Smash in May to warn motorists about the hot spot (“Smash-and-grab hot spot in Goodwood,” Northern News, May 24).

He said “a day or so” before the start of the awareness drive, a man had been arrested in connection with the crime. “There has been only one smash-and-grab that came in since then,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Rademeyer.

Last month, the City of Cape Town said there had been 24 smash-and-grabs at the intersection in March alone.

Lieutenant-Colonel Rademeyer said the City had closed off an escape route for the robbers by repairing the Maitland cemetery fence and the two-day Project Smash campaign had also paid off.

“I’m sure it made an impression on those skollies,” he told the meeting on Monday June 12. But he cautioned that there was no evidence that window washers at the intersection acted as spotters for robbers as often alleged. Motorists should stay vigilant in the area and pack away valuables when driving there.

There have been several cases in Monte Vista where criminals have broken padlocks “within seconds” to burgle garages.

Lieutenant-Colonel Rademeyer said residents had lost tools worth thousands of rands due to this crime trend. Garage doors should be linked to alarm systems, he said.

In Monte Vista, thieves are stealing gate motors, and, earlier this month, mag wheels were stolen off cars in the area. Lieutenant-Colonel Rademeyer urged residents to investigate if they heard their dogs barking.

At the meeting, residents complained about traffic problems in Goodwood, including speeding on Townsend Street, on the border between Tygerdal and Glenwood, which they blamed on parliamentarians and government officials on their way to Acacia Park.

“MPs ignore that stop street. even our residents do the same,” one man said. Concerns were also raised about traffic congestion in peak hour for commuters wanting to get onto the N1.

A resident said he had written to the City to ask that the turning lane onto the N1 from the Monte Vista bridge be made a double lane. “The traffic cops are not visible in Goodwood,” he said.