Car theft at UCT rising, 10 stolen so far this year

Ten cases of car theft have been recorded at UCT since the start of the year.

2/27/2020

A staff member at UCT, who did not want to be named, said when she reported the theft of her car at the local police station, she learnt that hers was not the first to be stolen in the area. CapeTimesSA

Ten cases of car theft have been recorded at UCT since the start of the year.

The frequency of incidents has left an employee fearing for her safety, after her vehicle was stolen last year and has still not been found. A staff member at UCT, who did not want to be named, said when she reported the theft of her car at the local police station, she learnt that hers was not the first to be stolen in the area. “In August 2019 my colleague’s car was stolen from the parking area. When she went to report it to Rondebosch police station, they said hers was the third car to get stolen that day. My car was parked next to hers when it happened. “Being obviously on edge I invested in a steering wheel lock hoping that it would deter any potential crime. About seven weeks later my car was also stolen from the same parking area. On reporting to Rondebosch police I was informed of another car stolen that same day, in the same parking lot,” she said. She added that she felt let down by campus security when she reported it. “My details were written on a scrap piece of paper. Eventually, an inspector called me the following day but didn’t seem to care too much about the crime on campus or about remedying the situation and being proactive. “I was asked to give the times when I had parked the car and when I discovered it missing. He then said he would look at the footage but told me to come in with a hard drive. When I did he gave me eight hours of single-camera footage - like the other six cameras there didn’t work,” she said. She added they made suggestions for security upgrades but were told there were no funds. She said she had contacted the heads of security, the risk director and the vice-chancellor with regards to this two weeks ago, with no reply. University spokesperson Elijah Moholola said: “There have been 10 cases of car theft. This, contrary to the claim made, is an average of one car per week. Of course one car theft is one too many and UCT continues to work on strengthening security measures on campus. “UCT’s response is in line with the overall security plan which is updated continuously. This includes the deployment of additional response vehicles to ensure increased visibility as well as mobile surveillance units. The university has also implemented an upgrade of technological measures such as licence plate recognition.” Moholola said the theft of vehicles was a provincial and national challenge that had been noticeable in the Rondebosch/Mowbray precinct. In general, UCT was an open campus and fairly accessible, “but most high-risk areas are well protected”, he said. Police spokesperson Mihlali Majikela confirmed that the woman had reported her car missing. The case was still being investigated. The frequency of incidents has left an employee fearing for her safety, after her vehicle was stolen last year and has still not been found. A staff member at UCT, who did not want to be named, said when she reported the theft of her car at the local police station, she learnt that hers was not the first to be stolen in the area. “In August 2019 my colleague’s car was stolen from the parking area. When she went to report it to Rondebosch police station, they said hers was the third car to get stolen that day. My car was parked next to hers when it happened. “Being obviously on edge I invested in a steering wheel lock hoping that it would deter any potential crime. About seven weeks later my car was also stolen from the same parking area. On reporting to Rondebosch police I was informed of another car stolen that same day, in the same parking lot,” she said. She added that she felt let down by campus security when she reported it. “My details were written on a scrap piece of paper. Eventually, an inspector called me the following day but didn’t seem to care too much about the crime on campus or about remedying the situation and being proactive. “I was asked to give the times when I had parked the car and when I discovered it missing. He then said he would look at the footage but told me to come in with a hard drive. When I did he gave me eight hours of single-camera footage - like the other six cameras there didn’t work,” she said. She added they made suggestions for security upgrades but were told there were no funds. She said she had contacted the heads of security, the risk director and the vice-chancellor with regards to this two weeks ago, with no reply. University spokesperson Elijah Moholola said: “There have been 10 cases of car theft. This, contrary to the claim made, is an average of one car per week. Of course one car theft is one too many and UCT continues to work on strengthening security measures on campus. “UCT’s response is in line with the overall security plan which is updated continuously. This includes the deployment of additional response vehicles to ensure increased visibility as well as mobile surveillance units. The university has also implemented an upgrade of technological measures such as licence plate recognition.” Moholola said the theft of vehicles was a provincial and national challenge that had been noticeable in the Rondebosch/Mowbray precinct. In general, UCT was an open campus and fairly accessible, “but most high-risk areas are well protected”, he said. Police spokesperson Mihlali Majikela confirmed that the woman had reported her car missing. The case was still being investigated. Cape Times Read more: IOL News

CapeTimesSA My car was also stolen within the first week of the new semester. Parked right next to campus security. Disgusting how it can happen so often.

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