Zero in on crime

02 June 2003
Based on recent crime trends, Campus Protection Services (CPS) have requested that the UCT community remain vigilant regarding the following areas:

Students are urged not to leave their bags unattended in the Sports Centre or on the sports fields. There have been cases reported where bags or contents of bags have gone missing from these areas.

Vehicle crimes on the fringes of the Campus, including break-ins and thefts from vehicles, remain a problem. Stuart Wragg, CPS Security Manager, reiterated his previous calls for people to remove all valuables from their vehicles or to lock them away in their boots.

"CPS officers continue to find vehicles unlocked and we implore staff and students to close their windows and make use of their gear locks," he said.

With many staff and students reliant on mini-bus taxis, CPS have issued a robbery alert for those making use of this mode of transport. Incidents have been reported of students being robbed while travelling in public mini-bus taxis. CPS suggests checking the vehicles for legitimate signage, avoiding a taxi with fewer than three people inside and having your money in your hand ready to pay.

Wragg affirmed: "Should you become a victim of such a crime, do not resist as these criminals may be dangerous. But try to get a description of the suspects and the vehicle. Reporting the incident immediately to CPS might help to facilitate the apprehension of the suspects."

However, it is not all doom and gloom on the crime front with two incidents having positive outcomes.

The first incident occurred on May 22 when a student observed a suspect trying to steal a bicycle at the Sports Centre. The suspect escaped without the bicycle but less than two hours later was again seen loitering on Campus by the same student. When confronted by the student the suspect produced a knife and became aggressive. The student alerted CPS officers and the suspect was apprehended. He was handed over to the Rondebosch police.

On May 14, a Varsity College student was attacked in a mini-bus taxi. The taxi in question stopped on Main Road opposite Woolsack Road. The student was then robbed and the suspect was seen getting out of the taxi with a knife in his one hand and a bag in the other. He crossed the road and got into a Wynberg bound taxi. A CPS officer, who was driving by, noticed the suspect fleeing the taxi and pulled in front of the Wynberg taxi preventing it from driving off. The CPS officer had an altercation with the taxi driver and flagged a passing police vehicle down to assist him getting the suspect out of the taxi. Although the student was stabbed, she was not seriously injured and her bag and its contents were recovered. The suspect was taken to the Rondebosch police station.

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