Cape Town - Members of the so-called crowbar gang know your home and your schedule just as well as you do.
They use this information to their advantage when they want to gain access to your home and burgle it.
The Brackenfell Community Policing Forum recently got hold of an interview with an alleged member of the supposed gang and in the interview the suspect details how they scout homes before, break in and what they take.
Sean McCleland, of the Brackenfell Community Policing Forum, said they got the interview from a highly reliable source.
In the interview the suspect said they take less than five minutes to get in and out of the house and said they usually hit houses during the week.
“Monday night is burger night, buy one get one free at Spur. We drive past Spur to check how full the parking lot is; that means fewer people home. Tuesday night is pizza night and Wednesday is wacky Wednesday. Outside lights that are left on is an indication that no one is home and owners left very early when it was still dark. Avoid traffic times.
“The flashing blue light of the alarm by the door is a indication that the alarm is activated and no one is home. To confirm, we ring the doorbell. Sliding gates driveway with no vehicles make perfect cover to reverse into yard.”
The suspect said they choose areas based on the selling prices of houses and levels of security in the area and sometimes the race of people in the area.
“So called predominant white areas have more safes in their houses and invest their money in gold, jewellery, Kruger Rands and most have a firearm safe with multiple firearms.
“Houses close to exit routes are better, and also areas situated closer to an informal settlement, in order to escape when police chase. Area with increased neighbourhood watches is a risky area.”
He added that they always have to dress well to match their vehicles and to blend into the area and said they make around R8 000 a week.
“A team of three makes R8 000 each by Thursday when you start Monday and that is only for TV sales. What a we call winning the lotto is when we find a safe with Kruger Rands, expensive jewellery and firearms.
“We sell them because I don’t like guns. Most white people hide lots of money in safes to avoid tax. The most I found was R150 000 including foreign currency.
“Most safes are in the main bedroom, in the clothing cupboard, some are not even bolted, but bolted don’t work, you just hit it hard with hammer, put the crowbar behind and take it out the wall, run out with it, open when we home with a grinder.”
The suspect said they make most of their sales to foreigners who pay well and take the stolen merchandise out of the country or sell them online.
The firearms are sold to gangsters in townships. He said he could not disclose the buyer of the Kruger Rands
McCleland said that they have break-ins in the area with the crowbar gang’s modus operandi on a weekly basis.
“Their effectiveness is to be out as quick as possible. They all use the same method and there are many of these types of burglaries. The challenge we have in identifying them is the fact that we can’t identify vehicles.”
McCleland said the gangs usually use hired vehicles that blend into the area.
He said they prefer “nice” cars such as VW Polos and Toyotas, BMWs and Mercedes, so they do not stand out in the area.
McCleland said he was glad the interview was shared on social media because it will create awareness.