Independent Online –

Cape Town – Residents in several neighbouring Cape Town suburbs are now on high alert after a spate of break-ins over the past few weeks.

Since the beginning of last month at least 11 houses have been targeted by robbers in Melkbosstrand, Duynefontein and Van Riebeeckstrand.

The Melkbosstrand neighbourhood watch and residents in the suburbs are now on full alert.

On Tuesday morning, a spokeswoman for the neighbourhood watch, Christa Kleynhans, said: “Yesterday morning (Monday), there was a break-in and the maid was held up in the house with an axe, but she managed to lock the intruder in the garage when he went in there to look for more stuff to steal.”

“In the one break-in there were three guys and there is also a solo guy. Two of the three were arrested and on the solo one, we picked up his MO (modus operandi) on two other houses.”

Kleynhans said a man was arrested in the latest robbery.

She added that most of the houses were broken into in the morning, when the culprits thought no one was home.

On Friday night, there were two break-ins in the area and according to a post on the neighbourhood watch website, three men were seen with goods at about 9am. Upon investigation a bag with goods from a break-in was recovered at Harold Aswell Boulevard in Melkbosstrand.

The men fled into Ouskip caravan park and police and other officials began to search the area but could not find them.

Then, at 11pm a call came in of a house break-in taking place in Bato Way. Three suspects were chased and apprehended next to the R27 behind Melkbos Village where bags with stolen items were recovered. It is not known whether they were the same men involved in the earlier chase.

Kleynhans said: “People’s views on staying safe may differ, but I suggest if you have a dog keep it inside, because they make a noise. Also make sure that all your doors stay locked.”

The chairwoman of the Melkbosstrand ratepayers’ association, Smokie la Grange, said the community needed to be better neighbours. “People are angry about this, but we just need to be better neighbours and keep our eyes and ears open.”

La Grange said she had no idea what could have caused such a spate of break-ins.

“It is up to the residents to be part of the neighbourhood watch or start street committees and know who is in your street.”

Cape Argus