Now families in Unit 9, Moorland Place, a cul-de-sac, are living in fear.
Police would not divulge how the man had been arrested, but Chatsworth Crime Watch, a Facebook group, claimed he had been arrested in Arena Park by the Community Policing Forum.
The handwritten note read: “Moorland Place near Demoroza School unit 9 No alarm no security retired man with his wife. got lots of money saved in his house. he sells gold chain, ring, laptops. go very slowly. threw cilling. some gold kept in the out building. go threw cilling come 2 morning. no alarm no security. hit wife. she give you everything.”
Written on the edge of the page and circled was: “take his cars”.
On another page it read: “every wed wife go 10 clock come back at 1 clock. break kitchen door in the side.”
The word “cilling” was misspelt, but meant ceiling.
Thirteen houses and a church are located on Moorland Place. The person who photographed and shared the note had blocked out the house number.
The Daily News visited several homes on the road, but homeowners denied the note was directed at their homes. The house with an outbuilding and where a woman had been previously shot during a robbery also denied that the note was directed at her. Without a house number, none of the residents knew whose home had been targeted.
Several residents who gathered on the road when the Daily News arrived said their homes had been burgled on numerous occasions. Some said they did not employ domestic workers.
Behind Moorland Place is a railway line that separates the houses from the sprawling Bottlebrush formal and informal housing settlement.
Denise Govender said they had been burgled more than a dozen times between October and March. Govender had not slept well since the note was found on Monday.
“Most of our valuables were stolen including our fridge, a TV, clothing, jewellery, copper and brass prayer lamps, plumbing pipes and kids’ toys. Once we found our items in the informal settlement. They (the thieves) came through the ceiling quite a few times. We are having nightmares. Our burglar bars still bear testimony to the number of times we have been looted,” she said.
Most of the residents have razor wire and high walls but this has not deterred thieves. One of the resident’s palisade fencing pieces were removed and his home burgled. He patched the hole with planks and board as well as an additional row of barbed wire on the bottom of the fence.
“We have been living here for 25 years but the last six years have been nerve-wracking with intruders walking onto the property and stealing stuff. They are watching us from somewhere,” Govender said.
Some of the residents from the neighbourhood watch hoped the police would apprehend the mastermind behind the note. They are awaiting feedback from the Chatsworth SAPS.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said Chatsworth police had arrested a 19-year-old suspect for possession of dagga and conspiracy to commit robbery on Monday. The note was found on the teenager. He is expected to appear at the Chatsworth Magistrate’s Court soon.
At this stage, the police cannot divulge any further information.
Sam Pillay, spokesperson for Chatsworth Shield - a community organisation that stands for the upliftment, protection and development of all people living around Chatsworth - said most robberies were inside jobs, but the note was a revelation to the Community Policing Forums on how these crimes were orchestrated.
Pillay could not confirm if a domestic worker had handed the note to her boyfriend. “It is a scenario that has been played out where people either working for you or close to you leak your movements to criminals. It is important to screen your employees and make copies of their identification documents. It is rather unfortunate that these incidents happen. Sad that we have to be on our toes and on the lookout all the time,” Pillay said.
According to the police crime statistics, there had been 935 reported cases of burglary in Chatsworth between April 2016 and March 2017. Ninety-three cases of house robbery were also reported in the same period.
After the death of 9-year-old Sadia Sukhraj during a botched hijacking in Shallcross, hundreds of irate Chatsworth residents had protested outside the Chatsworth police station over the high crime rate in the area.
This then led to the arrest of 20 protesters whose matter is currently before the court.
Chatsworth Shield executive member Elvis Govender said they had been tasked by Police Minister Bheki Cele with assisting in the Ipid investigations into what happened on May 28 during the protest outside the police station.