Smash-and-grabs along the notorious Jakes Gerwel Drive have been reduced significantly in the past five months, the City of Cape Town said on Monday.
About 13 people had also been arrested, it said.
According to the city, incidents were down from 42 in June to five in October after the deployment of council’s Camera Response Unit in the Langa area as well as the increased use of CCTV footage to identify suspects.
Mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, said in a statement he encouraged the courts to deal with these cases speedily and “impose the harshest sentences possible”.
“It is discouraging to have suspects back on the streets just days after their arrest, getting up to their old tricks,” he said.
“At the same time, I would like to once again remind motorists to do their bit by keeping their valuables out of sight when driving and keeping an eye on their surroundings at all times. Far too many motorists continue to be distracted by their mobile phones, which is an offence in itself…”
Several of the arrests were made after tip-offs from the public, he said.
In one of the incidents, the CCTV Control Room witnessed a smash-and-grab and alerted the officers stationed in the vicinity. The suspect could be seen running away from the vehicle with the motorist’s belongings while brandishing a knife.
Officers apprehended him after waiting as he crossed Jakes Gerwel Drive into Langa. The suspect attempted to stab one of the officers whose partner then fired a shot, wounding the thief. News24