Traders in Mochudi believe the spate of burglaries that has plagued the village since last year is the work of organised crime.
According to the businessmen, mostly of Asian origin, the thieves predominantly target motor spares and grocery dealers.
The bandits make away with such a large number of items, convincing traders that there is a cartel which buys stolen goods in bulk.
One of the affected individuals, Yusuf Kosadia, whose shop Fair Price has been repeatedly hit, is adamant the burglaries are too sophisticated to be the work of petty thieves.
“There is no way small time thieves would take so much stuff. I think these thieves are working for somebody, or some people, who buy the items from them and have the needed storage space and sells the goods somewhere. They also have the transport in which they load the goods, which suggests they are organised,” noted Kosadia, who has lost stock worth close to P70, 000.
“These guys have broken into my shop so many times it seems we have a contract that allows them to break into my shop at will! They seem interested in car batteries, oil, tyres and starters,” added Kosadia, who appeared to see the humour in the grim situation.
Another unhappy businessman, Emdabdul Shaikh of Mochudi Bureau de Change, revealed his money trading business was hit twice in February.
Shaikh told The Voice that the scary situation about their plight is the sensors meant to trigger the alarm systems do not work when the burglaries occur.
“I must say we are disappointed at this. We have notified the security companies about our concerns and they have promised to do something to improve the situation,” he grumbled.
Contacted for comment, Mochudi Police Station Acting Station Commander Assistant Superintendent, Wazha Zambezi confirmed that burglaries were a problem in his policing area.
However, he pointed out that though businesses were affected, most burglaries occurred in households.
On another note, Zambezi intimated that burglars targeting business houses could be deterred if traders, especially those of Asian origin, took a more active role in crime prevention activities.
“Being part of our crime prevention activities, such as neighbourhood watch committees, is very important and I urge such business people to be part of such.
“So far very few of the Asian community business people take part in our criminal prevention activities. When we call meetings most of them don’t seem to take such meetings seriously and instead of attending they send cashiers. They should attend themselves! This would help a lot,” stressed Zambezi.
“They should also hire night-watchmen. These days burglars have become so knowledgeable they can disable alarms; having a nightwatchman helps discourage them from approaching potential targets as the watchman can raise the alarm,” highlighted the Assistant Superintendent.