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Media Release: Crime on Table Mountain Does Not Pay

06 March 2008

Thursday, 6th March 2008 - The arrest of four muggers on Wednesday, 5th March 2008 brings the number of suspects arrested on Table Mountain in the last 14 days to six, says Paddy Gordon, operations manager for the northern section of Table Mountain National Park.

Five suspects were arrested in connection with Skeleton Gorge related incidents where tourists were robbed of personal belongings and one was arrested on Tafelberg Road in connection with the theft of a bicycle.  Unfortunately, one of the four suspects arrested yesterday died of dehydration as he was being treated by Metro paramedics while in police custody.

Gordon attributes the arrests to an adaptable crime fighting strategy.  “This includes the deployment of additional resources in the form of the SANParks chopper, which enabled the Park to identify actual and potential hideouts, and vulnerable spots; increasing the number of foot patrols and the observation points; an effective dog patrol unit; and cooperation between the Park, SAPS and Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden security. 

“We spent the past three weeks on an intensive recce of the vulnerable areas, to profile suspects and to understand their modus operandi". During this exercise paths and escape routes were identified in areas not used by the public.

“Information at our disposal should lead to further arrests in the near future.  The message we want to send out is that crime on Table Mountain does not pay,” says Gordon. 

Gordon says SANParks appreciates the efforts of the visitor safety rangers who often have to work long hours under dangerous conditions and are expected to confront armed and dangerous criminals.

The Park has an annual budget in excess of R4m for its visitor security programme that includes 52 rangers, a dog unit and top-class communications tools such as two- way radios.  The TMNP visitor safety team routinely screens suspicious looking individuals who are then taken to the SAPS for questioning and fingerprinting.

For further information, please contact:

Phumeza Mgxashe

Table Mountain National Park

Tel: 021 701 8692

Cell: 083 589 8588

 

 

 

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