Following is a security alert from ADT followed by more general notes on criminals possibly posing as innocent service providers and tips.
SECURITY ALERT FROM ADT
“Recent incidents have prompted us to reiterate the warning about criminals posing as service providers. A warning has been placed on Facebook about two men in the Chantelle, Akasia and Orchards areas who ring the buzzer and tell the domestic worker they were sent by the owner to read the electricity. When let in these criminals will overpower the domestic worker and ransack the property.
This is not an isolated incident and has been reported throughout Pretoria. We are urging all our clients to inform their domestic workers and children on what to look out for.
- Educate your children and domestic staff not to allow anyone onto the property, no matter what they say their business is.
- If you are expecting a service provider, their identification must always be verified first and you should, preferably, be there to meet them.
- If you haven't already done so, please consider getting a panic button for your domestic staff and children, or sign up for ADT’s Cell Panic service which gives you and four others in your household access to armed response via a speed dial on your cell phone.
- Report anything suspicious to ADT or the SAPS immediately!
Let's continue to work together to keep your suburbs safe.”
The above was received from ADT. If something suspicious is noticed (LS1), report it to the JOC at 0861 571 911. Or – get direct; get a radio: It can save precious time in a crisis situation.
MORE CRIMINAL POSINGS AS INNOCENT
I heard last week a horror story of someone in a Hyundai that was kidnapped in the Kempton Park area by corrupted police/people convincingly posing as police officers. The guy, who was saved only by his car’s security system not allowing criminal-intended resale of the vehicle, was sent home in his underwear (even his denim and tekkies were stolen!) He was lying for hours with his face to the ground. When he afterwards tried to report the matter at the police he was not believed …. This phenomenon was recently carried on Carte Blanche.
Unfortunately this happens in any sector; the police or security companies are unfortunately not above that. Recently there was a story of one of the security companies’ staff in Sandton posing to check on the safety of a member. The member opened the door, only to discover it was a hoax and was held up by armed robbers.
I had a scary experience recently when a potential buyer came to look at my house, which is for sale: They came in (he had the looks of a drug lord) and took pictures all over the place. This stresses that one really cannot trust anyone … especially in our homes.
IN ADDITION TO ADT’S TIPS ABOVE
- Most important is to never assume someone in uniform is the real deal. People are not necessary whom they pose to be.
- If “private” vehicles are used by security companies be very alarmed.
- If you did not summons your security company, or are unsure about the person at the door, then call control room and confirm before opening.
- Unless you have a silent panic for duress, you should receive a phone call from the control room before the vehicle arrives.
- Be careful who comes into your house – builders, electricians, plumbers, workmen, even people saying they are from a security company to fix something on the system.
- Who is your maid and/or gardener? What about their friends knowing where your safe is and if you have a weapon?
- Rather use a garden service than the workless on the corner. Garden services’ workers tend to be better screened and do not to change that often. Enquire whether potential employees are screened: You may ask.
- Always be vigilant in all aspects of life.
A good statement I recently came upon was that a community who is not willing to take responsibility for their own security is a doomed community. Money cannot buy everything.