SAFEGUARD YOUR PROPERTY

Know the type of "Markers" burglars are using to mark their targets!

The hidden language of criminals who target suburban homes has been translated by police and shared with the public to help stop crime…


Safeguard-your-property

USEFUL SECURITY INFORMATION: KNOW THE SIGNS OF BURGLAR MARKERS

Burglar Signs

The hidden language of criminals who target suburban homes has been translated by police and shared with the public to help stop crimes before they happen. At a meeting about vagrants and crime held at the Musgrave Library in Glenwood Village on Thursday, the metro police shared a list of signs that had been compiled with the SAPS over several months of attending crime scenes.

Metro police captain Dingaan Motsamai, who gave the presentation, explained how a “Z” painted on a stop sign, piles of stones and strategically placed crisp packets outside gates were signs left by criminals watching a house ahead of a burglary or armed robbery.

The meeting had been about enforcing by-laws and dealing with vagrancy. Councillors from Durban North, Westville, Yellowwood Park and Glenwood, as well as members of several community policing forums, were present. They all expressed concern at the vagrant crisis that was spilling into their communities as vagrants and whoonga addicts were chased from the worst areas of the Berea and Warwick Triangle.

Motsamai urged people not to “feed” beggars at traffic lights. The audience agreed the issue was “social” and required a concerted effort from various stakeholders, including the government and NGOs. Motsamai warned that the use of hidden markers to target homes was on the rise.

The trend was first noticed in 2010 but had died down. Recently, though, police had seen several signs of it again. “If your dog dies suddenly or vomits, check for black specks in the vomit or for white powder near the dog. “Please open a case with the police who must give you a case number. You are in danger if your dog suddenly gets sick; criminals will infiltrate (your house),” he said.

“I’m not trying to scare people – it’s reality.” Glenwood councillor Nicole Graham said people should attend community safety meetings so they could be made aware of criminals’ tactics. The chairwoman of the Bulwer community safety forum, Heather Hayward Rorick, said residents needed to be aware of crime trends in their areas.

Asked for comment, crime researcher Johan Burger of the Institute for Security Studies said there was a split in opinion about the “modus operandi” described by Motsamai and that he thought it was more prevalent in rural areas.