A densely populated Extension 27 location in Gaborone has long been known and characterised as refuge for criminals. The place remains a haven of crime.
The police have cited the location as a hot spot for criminals with theft incidents especially pick and pocketing occurring more often, thus keeping the police on their toes.
The criminals target people, especially women late in the evening after getting off of combis and snatch handbags, money, cell phones, laptops and other important goods. This location is not a safe place for its inhabitants who are no longer free to walk within the street either during the day or at night.
The police have issued a warning to members of the public, especially women to exercise extra caution when walking about the streets.
Usually the perpetrators are the young boys in their 20s, or younger, who are unemployed and depending on theft for survival. They usually go around carrying weapons such as knives, scissors among other weapons.
In an interview with The Monitor, Broadhurst police station commander, Obusitswe Lokae said the crime rate in the location is on the increase with inhabitants being harassed by the thieves.
Lokae said despite pick-pocketing theft, smash-and-grab is also rampant in the sprawling slum community. He said it appears that women are the most targeted. “This is very worrying to us because the cases are high and are reported daily. The thieves usually pretend to be walking within the streets whilst targeting vulnerable people. Despite the police to be on always on patrols the criminals always find their way,”
He advised members of the community to hand over the money or anything to the criminals without resistance to avoid the risk of fatalities.
Lokae expressed a concern that on a daily basis women came to their office to report that their handbags were snatched by unknown culprits when walking home knocking off late in the evening. “The hot spot are Taung hiking bus stop, Total filling station along A1 road. The criminals snatch people’s handbags or smash people’s cars, cross the road running into the streets of the densely populated area. The criminals spend the entire day loitering around the area looking for someone to steal from,” Lokae said.
He said that the criminals also have the habit of attacking people during gatherings like parties, funerals and other social activities, by breaking into their cars and stealing valuables. The area is no longer a safe place to host events for its inhabitants.
Lokae revealed that eyewitnesses in the area have identified a white Corolla, silver Honda Fit and a grey BMWsedan, suspected to be used by the culprits in smash-and-grab incidents.
He pleaded with members of the public to be on the look out for the said cars as they are reported to be using different plate numbers.
He however vowed that the police will not despair and instead intensify their patrols to curb the spite in criminal activities in the area.