Browns Farm a crime hotspot, warn police

Nyanga police warn people to be careful in the Browns Farm area.

Browns Farm, Philippi,
has been identified as one of the most dangerous areas in the Nyanga policing precinct, with the highest number of hijackings and robberies, according to police and the Nyanga community policing forum (CPF).

Now, after a spate of robberies, the Nyanga police have issued a warning to businesses and residents about the dangers of selling things online.

Nyanga police spokesperson, Captain Ntomboxolo Sitshitshi said there had been an increase in the number of cases of hijackings reported which involved people who had advertised that they were selling their plasma TVs.

She said the suspect would call the seller, pretending to be interested in buying the item.

They would then arrange to meet but when the seller arrived at the agreed meeting point, the suspect would either rob the seller of the plasma TV or tell the seller to drive to his or her house where he or she would be robbed and hijacked.

“All the reported incidents occurred in the area of Browns Farm,” said Captain Sitshitshi.

“In one incident the victim was forced into the boot of his vehicle. We would like the public to heed to our call solely for their safety.

“We are appealing to them to take their business somewhere where there is safety. We also appeal to the community to stop buying stolen goods,” she said.

Captain Sitshitshi urged the sellers to be very aware of who they were selling to and where they were going.

“They should refrain from going to Browns Farm. It is the same with Uber drivers, they need to stay away from the area.

“The area is dangerous. This is done by young people aged from 14 to 16 years,” she said, adding that girls were also involved in these criminal activities.

“They would request Uber from town to here or ridiculously from Crossroads to Browns Farm.

“The drivers should suspect something. No one would ask an Uber from Crossroads to Browns Farm.

“That is nearly one place. Please use your discretion,” she said.

She also cautioned drivers of delivery vehicles and motorists to be alert at all times when driving in Monwood Drive, Link Road as well as Sheffield, Amsterdam (Ngulube) and Bristol roads.

The Nyanga CPF added that “unusable roads with potholes” contributed to the number of hijackings in the area as they slowed down motorists and made them easy targets.

Chairman Buyisile Makasi said many people were hijacked while trying to negotiate their way around these potholes, highlighting in particular, the poor state of Link, Ngulube and Sheffield roads, as well as the corner of Duinefontein and Govan Mbeki roads.

“These are some of the hot spot areas where most hijackings occur,” he said.

All these roads have bad potholes. In most reported incidents drivers are hijacked while (trying to avoid) these potholes. I am not sure when is the City going to repair these potholes.”