Warning for motorists as smash–and-grabs increase in Fountains Circle area
Pretoria - The Fountains Circle area has again become a hot spot for smash-and-grabs, with motorists warned to be vigilant.
Ward councillor Shaun Wilkinson and community safety groups have issued warnings of increased activities of what is believed to be a gang working in the area since the festive season – and he warned some may be armed.
“We have crime in the Fountains Valley precinct, not just the circle,” he said, citing the circle, the section near the Fountains Resort gate, the R21 and Elephant Road, Eeufees Road, the intersection of R101, and Heartfelt arena area, as well as attacks in George Storrar Drive.
He said the criminals worked mainly in pairs. “One guy distracts you and the other hits the window and you need to be ready to take evasive action. They take your attention to the right and break in on the left.
“I have personally been attacked, with one guy coming to the left window, and we had a confrontation and he took nothing, but that could have ended badly.
"As the crime moved from Groenkloof Nature Reserve three or four years ago, it moved to Fort Klapperkop where we had a lot of incidents, and now Covid-19 has seen that shut down.
“So now the criminals have just come down the hill to the valley.”
Wilkinson said residents’ representatives were working with police to try to rid the area of crime, but it would help if every incident was reported, so they could gather data.
A meeting is planned with all concerned today, and the plan is for stricter law enforcement.
He called on the authorities not to release those arrested as he said they return and continue operating in the area.
“At any given time there are more than five guys working in the circle, so we never know who is innocent and just selling refreshments and not causing trouble, or who is here with malicious intent.”
Wilkinson said a holistic plan was needed to deal with the problem as no law enforcement could be expected 24/7. If the circle was guarded, the criminals would move elsewhere in the vicinity.