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Resumption of train services on the Northern line sees rise in robberies at Vasco station

The new ablution facilities at Vasco station after the revamp by Prasa to bolster the public rail transport system. Video: Ian Landsberg

The new ablution facilities at Vasco station after the revamp by Prasa to bolster the public rail transport system. Video: Ian Landsberg

Published Mar 30, 2022

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Cape Town - The office of the Goodwood police station commander has warned of an increase in robbery incidents at the Vasco railway station, with most of these having occurred in the early mornings and late evenings.

The office said one or two suspects were responsible for most of the incidents and that the perpetrators’ modus operandi involved threatening victims with sharp objects and robbing them of valuable property.

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It said in some of the incidents people were assaulted or stabbed when they resisted or refused to hand over their valuables, and urged the community to be vigilant and be aware of their surroundings when using the station and the footbridge leading to Elsies River.

“As far as possible, people should leave valuables at home and not use their cellphones when walking alone,” it said.

Goodwood community policing forum said while they were not at liberty to disclose the number of reported incidents, they could confirm that the incidents started to increase when train services were restored, and Metrorail was made aware of the matter.

Train services on the Northern line resumed on March 13 after the line was closed during lockdown level 5 in March 2020.

“The increase in pedestrian traffic, along with opportunistic criminals scouting the area for more vulnerable targets/victims, seem to be the driving up these incidents. Residents should try to avoid walking alone and never display items of value, especially cellphones.

“SAPS Goodwood has listed this area as a hot spot and has increased its visibility accordingly.

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“The CPF has also requested neighbourhood watch members to focus on these areas while patrolling,” the forum said.

However, Metrorail spokesperson Nana Zenani said they had no information on the matter.

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