Thieves with trolleys take Highbury Park path

This footpath in Excelsior Street is being stolen brick by brick.

Thieves are stealing bricks by the trolley load from a Highbury Park footpath. 

Highbury Foundation founder Graham Raatz says the problem with the vanishing paving bricks will persist so long as residents in nearby Excelsior Street and Highbury Road don’t report “suspicious activity” there. 

“The residents there are expected to be the eyes and ears in the community, but this doesn’t seem to be the case here,” he said. 

Mr Raatz said he had alerted Ward 19 councillor Ebrahim Sawant but was awaiting a response. 

Mr Sawant told Northern News he had received an “informal and verbal report from law enforcement” but they did not have enough evidence to arrest anyone. 

A resident, Vern Jeftha, said law enforcement officers had arrested two men on May 11 after they were found loading bricks into a trolley, but the officers had not taken the bricks as evidence. 

“They (law enforcement) pulled up here in a car instead of a bakkie and decided to leave the bricks here and come back for it, but they didn’t, and the bricks were put back where they belong,” he said. 

Mr Jeftha said the thieves would be back because law enforcement didn’t patrol the area very often despite residents’ complaints. 

The City’s law enforcement spokesman, Wayne Dyason, said officers had responded to an incident on May 11 but the suspects had fled and left the trolley of bricks behind. The officers were due to fetch the trolley of bricks at the Highbury Primary School where it had been left for safekeeping.  

Another trolley of paving bricks had been found on the same spot on May 19 and again the suspects had run off, he said.  

“This is a hot spot and regular patrols are being done in this area,” said Mr Dyason. 

Residents can report suspicious activity by calling 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cell phone.