Residents rally against “Golden Gang” on the prowl

The attack on the neighbourhood has also seen residents rallying together in a combined effort with security companies to root out the criminals and provide effective patrolling, awareness and reaction in a bid to protect themselves.
The robberies, coincidentally, reached a high in the same week that the Mountain Rise SAPS launched their crime-combatting project Operation Fiela II.
In the past two weeks, six homes have been ransacked by members of a notorious gang dubbed the “Gold Gang”. The armed men have been terrorising residents, holding them hostage at gunpoint, and demanding gold and cash.
The crime wave began on Tuesday, February 6, when an 87-year-old Orient Heights woman was held at gunpoint in her home at around 10pm while the gang demanded and made-away with cash and gold estimated at R450 000.
Two days later the gang struck in Orient Heights, again making away with an estimated R450 000 worth of gold jewellery.
With a few days of respite, the gang struck in Allandale, locking a family of nine in the bathroom while the suspects ransacked the home, fleeing with an undisclosed amount of jewellery and a Mercedes Benz.
Not content with that loot, the brazen gang, tried their luck a few hours later in Samana Road, Orient Heights, where the targeted family was able to scare off the gang by fighting back and screaming.
Despite that, the gang members had still managed to grab a handbag and cellphone before fleeing. Those items were later recovered.
The family said they were still recovering from the shock and lived in fear that the gang might attack again.
Relaying the events of the attack, the family elder (who did not want to be named), said the family had just returned from a prayer meeting, on Thursday evening when they were pounced upon.
He said he and his sister were parked in the driveway before entering the gate, when a silver VW Polo vehicle – the vehicle used by the gang – parked behind them.
The man said two men wearing balaclavas and carrying firearms alighted from the vehicle, pushed him and his sister around and pointed the guns to their heads.
The armed men demanded entry into the house but the brave siblings, risking their lives, refused to allow them entry and began screaming for help.
“There was no way we were going to let them in because my young children were in the house. We kept screaming and shouting hoping our neighbours could call for help,” said the brother.
He continued, “I kept pushing them off and praying for them not to come into our home.”
The robbers fled the scene after the siblings continued to scream for help.
“They snatched my sister’s handbag and bracelet she was wearing and ran out of the drive way back into the car and sped off,” he said.
Allandale resident Bilal Moonsamy said crime had gotten “out of hand” in the area
“Criminals have robbed my neighbours; there is no telling who is next,” said Moonsamy who, like others, have had no option but to upgrade and tighten security measures at his home.
RZS security company’s Radley Govender, said although none of their clients have been targeted, they have provided assistance to the police and the community forum to find the suspects.
Govender added that the gang’s modus operandi was to target houses that had no or very poor security measures in place; pounce on residents standing outside their homes and force them into the house before raiding it.
Ward 30 councillor Renesha Jugmohan said residents who were undoubtedly feeling vulnerable had approached her to intervene for increased visible policing.
She said to that end she had engaged with the SAPS and the municipality to address crime and service delivery issues in the suburb.
Police spokesperson Captain Gay Ebrahim said with the launch of Operation Fiela II, police were hoping to soon have crime under control in the area.
Ebrahim urged residents not to become complacent about their surroundings and be vigilante.
“Lock your gate behind you, even if you are outside for a few seconds. We also urge the public to be cautious of strange cars or people who are not usually seen in the neighbourhood and report it,”said Ebrahim.

Bongeka Sibisi

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