How much do you trust your security company? Do you believe that if intruders were to break into your house and the alarm goes off your security company will respond as quickly as possible and minimise the chance of people inside being harmed and goods stolen?
Mulbarton resident Mavuso Mabaso had so much faith in ADT, he took out four contracts with the company – for his home in Mulbarton, a holiday home in Cape Town, a business in Soweto and a flat in Rosettenville.
But after three break-ins at his home in five weeks, the 39-year-old businessman has not only lost faith in ADT, but is convinced its guards are behind the burglaries.
His belief is based on the fact that all three burglaries happened on Thursdays; ADT called him only long after the burglars had ransacked his house and stolen his goods; and the alarm was working.
According to his contract, ADT is supposed to call him as soon as the alarm is triggered and ask whether he is home. If he is not, it is supposed to send a car to the house for guards to check the property. However, in all the cases, he said, the company only called him to tell him that his house had been burgled, his goods stolen and the burglars were gone.
The first incident occurred on April 19. Mabaso received a call from ADT at 11.09am notifying him of a burglary at his Mulbarton home.
Mabaso went home to find that the burglars had gained entry by smashing bathroom and dressing room windows. Two plasma TVs, a laptop computer, a camera, two subwoofers, a cassette player, his watch, jewellery and a PlayStation Portable had been stolen.
On May 3, again at about 11am, ADT called Mabaso to tell him that there had been another break-in at home. “I remember thinking this was becoming the norm. They don’t call to tell me that an alarm has been active; they now call to say there has been a break-in.
“The caller told me someone had tried to call me earlier on an 076 number, but it went to voicemail. The number she mentioned is my office number and the last one that ADT should try to get me on, as stated in my contract. They had not even called my wife,” he said.
On May 10, he received a call at around 1.20pm about an alarm that had been triggered at his place. He got another call at 1.41pm that there had been a break-in. Two minutes later, he arrived home to find two laptops, more jewellery and a drawer of his wife stolen.
Mabaso is convinced that ADT security guards are behind the break-ins.
Just after the second break-in, he said, he had gone home but did not deactivate the alarm soon after getting into the house.
“It went off at 12.58pm and I then deactivated it. But I only got a call from my wife at 1.28pm, telling me that ADT had just called her and said the alarm had gone off. My wife did not know I was home and I did not tell her.
“What I also found shocking was that I am the first one that ADT is supposed to call; my wife is second. But no one called me, ADT only sent a security guard to my place at 2.30pm.
“My wife is now scared of going home because of all these burglaries,” Mabaso said.
The Star contacted ADT, which investigated the incidents. It says the investigation shows that everything was done by the book and it was not at fault.
“According to our vehicle tracking data, on two of the occasions an ADT reaction vehicle and officer arrived at the premises within six minutes from the time the alarm was activated. On the third occasion, the officer arrived within 19 minutes due to high levels of activity in the area. The contact numbers used by the control room on these occasions to contact Mr Mabaso reflect on his contract in sequence of use,” Roy Rawlins, managing director of ADT Central Region said.
ADT management are in discussions with Mabaso to resolve the matter.