Smash and grabs climb on Jakes Gerwel Drive

Jakes Gerwel Drive is a hot spot for smash and grabs.

Smash and grabs on Jakes Gerwel Drive are on the increase, according to Metro police data.

According to Metro police spokeswoman Ruth Solomons, there were 58 incidents in April, 56 in May and 71 in June.

“Most of the incidents occurred at the intersection of Jakes Gerwel Drive and Jakkalsvlei Avenue. We don’t have the statistics yet for July. Smash-and-grab attempts and incidents are unfortunately commonplace along Jakes Gerwel Drive, particularly on the stretch of road between the N2 and Voortrekker Road.”

Ms Solomons said the City’s camera response unit patrolled crime hot spots in accordance with CCTV crime-pattern analysis.

The City says it has cameras along the entire stretch of Jakes Gerwel Drive, but it won’t divulge their exact locations.

“We try our utmost to give due attention to all of the areas known for smash-and-grab crimes, but we simply do not have the resources for a static, around the clock presence.”

The perpetrators fled as soon as they committed the crime and melted into a nearby settlement in Langa.

A Google Maps screenshot showing Jakes Gerwel Drive and the informal settlement in Langa where the perpetrators flee to.

“Our cameras are able to capture incidents, and identify suspects but a challenge is that the suspects use the nearby informal settlement as cover to make their getaways – one of the reasons why this particular stretch of roadway is problematic,” Ms Solomons said.

“Members of the public that have fallen victim to smash-and-grab incidents are urged to report these incidents immediately because we pursue suspects when they flee the scene but cannot hold them without a case.”

The perpetrators were opportunistic and took advantage of slow-moving traffic, distracted motorists and valuables left in plain sight, she said.

“It is therefore imperative that motorists keep an eye on their surroundings at all times and ensure that all valuables are stored in the boot or under the seats, out of sight.”

Goodwood police spokesman Captain Wayne Theunis said they had had no reports of smash and grabs in the past month but their officers did daily patrols to prevent them.

Bellville police, the Voortrekker Road Corridor, Langa police and the Bellville Community Police Forum did not comment by time of publication.