Robbers target sleeping tenants

TASNEEM HASSAN

A Parow Valley family have been left traumatised after thieves came into their flat around 3am while they were sleeping and helped themselves to cellphones, a laptop and wallet.

Esethu Nomkuca, 25, and her mother, Nontuthuzelo, 50, were asleep on a bed pushed against the wall and beneath an open window in their ground floor flat at Parkwood Place on Sunday March 13, when two men climbed through the window, jumped onto their bed and helped themselves to their valuables.

The mother and daughter were unaware of what was taking place until Ms Nomkuca’s sister, Esihle, 21, screamed for help from the lounge.

She had been woken up by one of the men who was struggling to remove her cellphone from the charger, right next to her.

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“When we heard my sister screaming, we all started screaming and the men ran out of the front

door,” said Ms Nomkuca.

She said the criminals must have opened the door beforehand to make an easy getaway.

Ms Nomkuca said the men got into the complex by making a hole in the fence in Market Street.

She said they have been left badly shaken by the experience.

“We feel scared and we can’t even leave our windows open anymore. We have to watch our backs all the time,” said Ms Nomkuca.

She said they had been living in the flat for a year and this was their first break-in.

There are no burglar bars on the windows. Ms Nomkuca said the landlord says they have to pay for these themselves but she refuses to do so as they are only renting the flat.

She said she emailed the landlord about the break-in but had heard nothing by Monday, March 21.

Ms Nomkuca said the window was open as her mother has heart problems and was feeling very hot.

Neighbour Kim Kay, who has also been living at the complex for a year, said the men had also entered her open bathroom window, but they were unable to get into the house because the bathroom door was locked from inside the flat.

Seconds later, she said, she heard the screaming from her neighbour.

“All we heard was screaming and loud footsteps from the men running away,” said Ms Kay.

She said there had been two other break-ins and a bakkie was stolen during the time she has lived there.

She said she was particularly worried about her child’s safety and that she has to watch her back all the time. “We can’t live like prisoners in our homes,” said Ms Kay.

She added that what is most concerning is that there is no security at the complex.

Ms Nomkuca said there were security guards at the complex for two months only, from around October last year.

Ms Kay said the security was employed after the two break-ins and said that while the security was employed, the bakkie was stolen.

Lieutenant Kevin Williams, the communications officer at Parow police station, confirmed that a case of housebreaking had been opened.

He said a laptop, cellphone and wallet had been stolen from the home, but no arrests have yet been made.

Northern News tried to contact Wesson Properties which owns the complex, to find out what security measures they had in place to ensure the safety of the residents, but by the time this edition went to print, they had not yet responded.

We sent an email to Wesson Properties and tried calling various numbers for comment without success.