Onderbergers urged to be more security conscious

KOMATIPOORT – Local residents and visitors are urged to step up their security and be especially vigilant near ATMs.

According to Komatipoort SAPS spokesman, Const Natacia Mbuyane, there have been lots of cases of housebreakings, burglaries at bottle stores, theft and fraud in town over the past few weeks.

Mbuyane cited one instance during February month-end where a woman was robbed of R2 000. She was approached by someone offering help while she attempted to draw cash. Her bank card and PIN were stolen en the perpetrators drew money elsewhere.

Read: Be wary of clever financial scams

People are urged to seek assistance from bank employees, to never to give anyone access to their PIN and immediately notify security if they notice any suspicious activity near the ATMs or bank.

Fraudsters have reportedly also been active in Malalane over the past few weeks, so locals are urged to also take care when swiping their cards for payments or drawing money at ATMs.

Following several attempted break-ins all over the Onderberg, residents are urged to take a critical look at their home safety measures. In Marloth Park, security companies have noted that criminals are preparing for winter and stealing items like blankets.

Here are 10 ways you can improve your security:
• Clean up the bush bordering your yard and ensure your garden is neat with no dense shrubs to shelter criminals.
• Become involved with your local community policing forum.
• Know your domestic and garden workers. Ensure you have a copy of their IDs, their full contact details and even finger prints. Ensure that strict access measures are in place around your property.
• Get to know your neighbours and keep an eye on one another’s property and suspicious persons in the area.
• Keep your gates, doors and windows closed and locked and keep keys and remotes in a safe place that won’t be easily accessible to burglars.
• Never leave valuables in your vehicle overnight and keep them out of sight and reach while using your car.
• Never leave your home at night if you notice strange movement or sounds on your property. Notify your security company, CPF or police instead.
• Change your routine. Burglars tend to watch houses for a while before striking.
• Install outdoor lights. Motion-sensitive ones can scare off burglars and are easier on your electrical bill.
• Keep an eye on your pets’ behaviour, as they usually provide great early warnings.

Read: Safeguard your home to prevent break-ins

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