CHARLIE THE CRAWLER
Some of you might not be aware, but we have a person whom we shall call ‘Charlie the Crawler’. For those who do not know about him yet; this man we now call ‘Charlie the Crawler’ has recently been caught on CCTV a few time, normally at around 02h30 to 03h30 in the morning. The interesting thing about him is that Charlie has taken to crawling under the beams that residents use to give warning that someone has either crossed their boundary or is approaching their house, thus avoiding detection. In fact, Charlie has even been spotted with a fellow crawler. Moreover, Charlie has been responsible for quite a few burglaries while in some cases, has been spotted and then scared off after the resident woken up to find him in their garden.
In order for you as a resident to take possible precautionary action here are few pointers:
- Get a radio if you do not have one! Keep it charged and on at night. Turn the volume down so that it doesn’t wake you up with a start when someone else calls on the radio. Just keep it loud enough to gently wake you up. (You might ask – why must it be on? Well, your neighbour could be calling you to alert you that Charlie has just jumped into your yard. Also, you may be needed to stand perimeter just down the road while the MM search the properties for Charlie.)
- If you hear an unusual noise any time between 02H30 and 04H00 – check your garden! If you spot anyone, immediately call on the radio giving your street address, confirming that you have seen the intruder and finally what the intruder did after he realised that he had been observed. This should take you five seconds and then you can do whatever you feel necessary to corner the suspect. WE NEED TO CATCH THESE GUYS!
- Check your warning devices. Perhaps it is time to install wall-top razor wire on your boundary wall or fence or even effective electric fencing.
- Think of installing beams that monitor the area across your windows and sound an alarm when someone tries to enter your home via an open window. Perhaps you can combine your movement detectors with heat-sensing detectors that sweep your garden.
- Have a large dog outside and a yapper inside, where the yapper alerts you and the dog outside the moment the yapper hears a suspect outside your window.
- Install an effective indoor alarm system that monitors movement inside the house.
PATROLLING AT NIGHT
This brings us to another action we can take to catch Charlie the Crawler. This is to patrol at night, especially during the hours when he is known to strike. Here again, are a few pointers for residents to take note of:
- We know that Charlie the Crawler does not stroll down the middle of the road at night, whistling a happy tune. He walks right up against the property wall or fence, skirting around any plants. This is where you should be looking for him.
- The moment he feels that there is a chance of him being seen or observed he will fade into the shrubbery or may even jump a wall. In fact, he will not even look in your direction as this is often the one thing that draws one’s attention.
- While vehicle patrolling has its place, the way to catch Charlie the Crawler is the static patrol. Not even a walking patrol will do the trick. (Regular and frequent moving patrols do have the object of saturating an area and denying the potential thief the freedom of movement. He will quickly realise that a response is almost immediate should he jump a wall and be detected.)
- What we would like to encourage is for you to do a static patrol. What is expected is for you and possibly a buddy to sit dead still at a hidden location or even just inside your garden fence but also hidden and wait for Charlie to pass. Charlie will not be expecting you (hopefully he doesn’t even see you) and the moment he passes, all you do is call in his movement on the radio (Channel 1). This will alert others who will wait until he commits himself and then the MM can pounce.
Unless we do this we will never be rid of wall jumpers. This is also why we formed the neighbourhood watch in the first place. SAPS will never, with their meagre resources, catch Charlie the Crawler. But all of us, with our radios, will do so if we just do our small bit. WE NEED ALL OF US TO DO OUR SHARE IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL!
RELATIONSHIP WITH SECURITY COMPANIES
Lately, we have been picking up a trend that many residents see the two security companies operating in Doringkloof as part of the DNW security set-up. Unfortunately, many residents also view the DNW as a type of security organisation that will rush to their aid should they feel threatened.
In order to refresh ourselves regarding the relationship between the security companies and the DNW, the following:
- The DNW is not a security company, nor is it a vigilante group. The DNW is affiliated to the Lyttelton Community Police Sub-forum Sector 2 and therefore forms an essential part of the larger organisation that observes/looks out for criminal activity and then assists the SAPS in arresting the suspects. Again, we the DNW, do this purely as residents who are serious about preventing crime.
- Two of the security companies operating in Doringkloof have entered into an agreement with the DNW that, in the event of any reported criminal activity and where their patrollers are available; they will come and assist the DNW in apprehending the suspects. This is regarded as voluntary on their part. The DNW has no right to summon any security company to any crime scene in Doringkloof.
- Only clients of these security companies may summon them to come to their residence to support them should they be threatened by criminals. Please note that these residents are to summon their security company using their agreed means of communication, either using their panic buttons or their cell phone. Clients of a security company are requested not to use the DNW radio to summon them, even if your security company is listening out on our radio channel. (You use the radio to call the DNW members to come and support you.)
- Any resident of Doringkloof who is not a client of any security company and asks the security company’s patroller to proceed to a potential crime scene will be expected to compensate that security company for the work they did on the caller’s behalf.
We trust that the above will give residents an understanding of the relationship between the security companies and the DNW.