Pretoria – Residents of Faerie Glen in Pretoria East have threatened to take matters into their own hands to deal with an increase in crime in the area if police did not intervene.
They said the community was being held hostage by criminals after a surge in housebreakings and muggings over the past few months.
Reports of crime from the suburb and nearby Faerie Glen Nature Reserve have emerged, with the first crime inside the reserve taking place two weeks ago after a 10-year record of safety and security.
A woman was attacked while running on the trail in the reserve and all her gear, including shoes, cellphone, hydration backpack and sunglasses were taken.
Warnings began going up on social media, where trail runners were asked to be cautious and not to run on their own, as criminals, often wielding knives and wearing balaclavas, were on the prowl.
The criminals are said to gain entry into the nature reserve through Atterbury Bridge and using the Manitoba Bridge to gain access to the rest of the nature reserve and into the homes along its periphery.
Homes hit are those located on the eastern side and last week residents said they were fed up with what they perceived as a lack of police action.
“We are going to be using maximum force to protect ourselves from these thugs.”
“Extreme situations require extreme measures,” said a resident who lives opposite the nature reserve in Glenwood Street.
He said on two occasions he had spotted burglars in his yard.
“They have stolen my hose pipe and rake,” he said.
Kefentse Mompei who lives adjacent to the reserve, said criminals were now becoming arrogant and doing as they pleased. Her clothes were stolen off her washing line, she said.
She said Faerie Glen Nature Reserve opposite her residential complex provided a hiding place for criminals.