Canoe robbers back on the dam

Fleeing suspects left heir canoes behind.

Residents and businesses with waterfront properties in Hartbeespoort are urged to be vigilant and be on the lookout for suspicious activities on the dam as three incidents of possible attempted robberies were reported the past week.

According to Arthur Crewe of the SRU HiRisk Unit, they received an emergency call from premises on the Hartbeespoort Dam waterfront near Kosmos at 02:30 on Tuesday morning, informing them that a group of men had entered the property from the water using canoes. “We were told that the suspects were busy stripping parts from boats on the foreshore. We immediately dispatched vehicles and a boat to intercept the suspects. Within minutes vehicles and a security/rescue boat arrived on site and chased the suspects who fled towards Kosmos. Our members continued the search until sunrise,” he said. Two canoes, left behind by the suspects, were handed over to the police.

Crewe said it was the third incident the past week. During previous incidents, the criminals claimed to be fishing for food when were caught.

“Last week we intercepted an old speed boat with five occupants. When our members approached, they threw items in the water so they could not be caught with stolen property.”

“We have noticed they are operate close to the estates that have waterfront properties and boats on lifts. Many people only notice weeks or months later that the thefts have taken place. On a previous callout, the suspects held a security guard at gunpoint while robbing him of his valuables. The water-related crimes have recently been on the increase. We have urged people to report all matters to the police.”