Citizen Journalists got this Story First!

Law and Order: Const. Debbie Alard (right) and councillor Norah Grose. Photos: Marnette Meyer

Law and Order: Const. Debbie Alard (right) and councillor Norah Grose. Photos: Marnette Meyer

Well done to the citizen journalists who broke this story on Tuesday! Neighbourhood Watch and Melkbosstrand community members brought the news of a robbery and subsequent chase and arrests to the public’s attention.

Photos of a getaway vehicle that had crashed into a boundary wall on Otto du Plessis Road were uploaded onto the social forum Melkbosstranders. By early evening the photos were accompanied by a detailed report on the pages of the Melkbosstrand Neighbourhood Watch and Table View Neighbourhood Watch.

The getaway vehicle.

The getaway vehicle.

According to the account posted by the Table View Neighbourhood Watch the vehicle belonged to three men who had been involved in an attempted crowbar style break-in in West Beach earlier that afternoon.

CopsAccording to the report the events started to unfold around 12.30 when “there was an attempted break-in by a crowbar gang in the West Beach area. An alert street committee member noticed this, called in the details, and calls were put out over both the Community Watch and Neighbourhood Watch radio network.” The report continues to describe the unfolding events.

“All exits around West Beach, including Dolphin Beach and Big Bay areas, and all exits in between, were immediately covered by all available call signs from all over the entire watch. All the available armed response companies and SAPS did a grid search of the area and the vehicle was spotted in Sandown Road. Using the Community Watch and Neighbourhood Watch networks a multiple vehicle pursuit was launched. This became a high speed pursuit towards Melkbos.”

pic crowbar melkbosAnd it was here, in the restful little coastal town, that the men in the getaway vehicle came up against a multitude of local law enforcement agencies. Local police blocked the getaway vehicle and it collided with the boundary wall of a property, badly damaging the wall and the car. The suspects exited the car and fled in the direction of surrounding bushes. The first suspect was detained within five minutes. “SAPS Table View, Melkbos and Atlantis, armed response companies and Neighbourhood Watches from both Table View and Melkbos, and Metro Police were on scene. A police helicopter was called in and did an extensive search of the area at extremely low levels. A private dog unit also joined in and another suspect was detained.”

UPDATE: According to const. Debbie Alard of Melkbosstrand police two men, (aged 26 and 33) from Nyanga and Khayalitsha, will appear in Atlantis magistrate’s court tomorrow (17 June) on charges of possession of possible stolen property, possession of a house breaking implement and reckless or negligent driving.

Alard says that a flatscreen television, stolen from a house in West Beach, was found inside their car. A crowbar was also found, as well as a tyre lever. Alard says that the car had false number plates. She commended radio controlman Ernest Schulze for his role in the apprehension of the suspects. “He made sure that all manpower from the neighbouring stations – Atlantis, Table View and Philadelphia SAPS – were utilized during the pursuit.”

Melkbosstrand Station Commander Captain Ronita Van Der Toorn commended the SAPS members, SAPS Air wing, Metro Police, Law Enforcement, Neighbourhood Watches and all safety structures for their excellent work. She  encouraged the community to keep on assisting the police.



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