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Cops watch as crook strolls by

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‘We cannot leave the fate of our families and our property in the hands of the SAPS

THREE police officials in Barkly West have been accused of sitting idly at their desk – waiting for a patrol van – while an alleged house-breaking suspect casually walked past the police station.

A Barkly West resident said his son alerted him on Thursday afternoon that someone was attempting to break into his neighbour’s house.

“I immediately got up to look and saw this person picking up a rock to break a window. I screamed at him and he ran away.”

According to the resident, the perpetrator had also damaged a door in his attempt to get inside.

He said he immediately climbed into his car and tried to follow the suspect, “but he got away”.

“I went to the Barkly West police station to report the incident and on the way, I drove past the suspect. I ran into the station and tried to alert the three officers who were sitting in the charge office. As I was speaking to them and explaining what had happened, the suspect walked right past the door, in plain view.”

He stated that the officers turned to each other and said a van had to be called.

“At this point I lost it, I could not process what I was hearing because the suspect was about 13 metres – in full view – of the station and the officers. I started to shout at this point out of frustration. The female officer turned to me and said, very sarcastically, that they only have one van and then all three of them went back to their desks and continued with whatever they were doing.

“A few seconds later, the suspect disappeared between the court buildings.”

The resident said he called his neighbour, who is currently living in Johannesburg and is still renovating the Barkly West property. “His theory was that they were probably after the copper wire in the house because it is standing empty at the moment.”

According to the resident, his neighbour contacted him on Friday morning to inform him that someone came back later that night and this time managed to break into the property.

He added that a second door was damaged by the perpetrator in order to gain access into the house.

The resident said several of his close neighbours had also suffered break-ins on a number of occasions in the last three months.

“We as neighbours have decided that we have to take the law into our own hands and we cannot rely on the police. They are absolutely useless and provide no service whatsoever to the community they are supposed to serve.

“We cannot leave the fate of our families and our property in the hands of the SAPS, so we have now taken up arms and will defend our families and our belongings,” he added.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Dimakatso Mooi said on Friday that the allegations and concerns were noted.

“However, as the police, we urge the community members to report the matter to the acting Station Commander, Captain Roman, on 082 4482 6402 in order for an internal investigation to be conducted.”