Lack of resources hinder effective policing

Under siege: Robbers are targeting businesses in Mogoditshane PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
Under siege: Robbers are targeting businesses in Mogoditshane PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG

Police in Mogoditshane are grappling with lack of resources, which in turn cripples their ability to adequately serve the community as armed robbers continue to invade businesses and make off with large sums of cash.

The business community in Mogoditshane policing area are living in fear as theft from shops ahead of the festive season escalates. The police have called upon the business community to tighten up their security as armed robbers are out on the prowl. In an interview with Mmegi following a string of armed robbery incidents in the Mogoditshane policing area, Mogoditshane police station commander, superintendent Russ Letsebe said lack of resources hamper their efforts to curb the scourge. Letsebe revealed to Mmegi that the said robbers usually attack and rob businesses when preparing to close.

He said unfortunately they do not have enough resources to patrol all businesses during that time in his overstretched policing area. “Armed robbers have surfaced as we continue to record strings of armed robbery incidents. It appears that the criminals are adamant about their mission to rob businesses mostly at gun point and we do not have enough resources to be at every business door step when they prepare to close.

We are currently investigating four robbery cases that occurred in a space of days amongst businesses in Nkoyaphiri in Mogoditshane, Kopong, Gabane and Tsolamosese,” he said. The police are investigating a robbery case which occurred on Sunday at Engen Filling Station in Tsolamosese in which a group of young men attacked and robbed workers money amounting to P2,000.

Letsebe said the criminals threatened employees with something like a gun before instructing them to hand in cash. “In another incident, armed robbers attacked Sefalana Hyper in Nkoyaphiri and walked away with cashier registers containing large sum of money as they threatened employees with something that also looked like a gun,” he said. Furthermore, Letsebe stated that a week ago in Gabane, a business owner was robbed money amounting to P4,000 when heading home after closing. He said the victim was followed by a car that flicked lights and when he stopped a group of young men attacked and robbed him. The police officer said in yet another robbery incident, a Kopong-based entrepreneur operating a shop at Gakutlo village was recently robbed money amounting to P7,000 after closing his business.

He stated after closing his shop in Gakutlo they suspect that the thieves might have trailed the victim to Kopong and robbed him. “When stopping to open the gate of his yard a group of young men attacked and hit him with a metal rod.

Then, they robbed him money amounting to P7,000 and mobile phones. Cases of this nature are worrisome as thieves continue to attack business people when preparing to close and after closing businesses,” he said. Letsebe said they have been having sleepless nights with armed robbers targeting foreign national traders to a point of following them to their residential places. However, he applauded the business community to have heeded their plea after urging them to avoid keeping large sums of money to avoid being targeted by criminals.

“We have been encouraging the business community to consider depositing money at banks throughout the day. They appear to have heard our pleas. In all of the recent robberies, thieves have been making away with small amounts of cash something which is recommendable,” Letsebe said.

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