TONGA – On Monday morning around 10:00, residents of a house near Malelane Stene entered their home to find three burglars already inside.
Malelane SAPS spokesman, Sgt Bheki Nkosi,said that a scuffle ensued, and one of the residents was stabbed in the arm with a knife.
One suspect may also have had a firearm.
The three suspects fled with cash and disappeared into the sugar-cane fields.
“It seemed like they knew the area, as they headed straight to the sugar-cane fields to make the search difficult for police,” the sergeant said. “The suspects are still at large, but arrests are imminent.”
He said that SAPS had recently increased patrols, especially foot patrols, in busy areas of town such as Inkwazi Centre, which had a positive impact. “We had a lot of crimes such as pavement robberies, theft out of motor vehicles and smash-and-grabs. But the last two weeks it’s been quiet.”
Three suspects also targeted homes in Mzinti on Sunday night and the early hours of Monday morning.
According to Capt Magonseni Nkosi, Tonga SAPS spokesman, community members reported that three suspects, one with a firearm, had broken into their houses and demanded money and cellphones.
Nkosi stated that the police believe the crimes are connected or perpetrated by the same people. He expected that more community members would come forward to report similar robberies.
Early on Saturday morning, a victim was stabbed to death in Tonga. Nkosi reported that the man in his mid-twenties was heading home from a liquor outlet.
Nkosi urged people not to carry weapons when they are visiting liquor outlets.
Tonga SAPS also appealed to business franchises to keep a close eye on their employees and to do regular checks.
Two robberies at liquor outlets were reported over the weekend, and police suspect that employees gave robbers inside information.
Several house burglaries also took place and police have recovered stolen goods.
Residents are urged to mark their property or keep proof of purchase and serial numbers to prove their ownership. When the goods are recovered by the police, this will enable officers to ensure that the right property is returned to the right person.
Nkosi also expressed concern over people falsely reporting crimes. They had a case when a company pressed their panic button. Their security company, based in Pretoria, struggled to get a hold of them and then notified the police. When the police arrived on the scene, employees told them that they had just been testing their panic button. They then criticised the police for their late arrival.
Nkosi urged companies not to “test” the police in this way, as it could take resources away from areas where it is really needed.