POLICE patrols have been increased following a spate of break-ins at the Berea Bowling Club and Stella Park Bowling Club in recent months.
Berea Bowling Club was broken into in the early hours of Tuesday morning, 24 July.
Burglars gained access through the office ceiling, disabled the alarm and proceeded to smash inside doors and gates to break into the bar and other areas.
They were able to locate the safe door key and took all money on the premises. They also broke into the store room and stole a considerable amount of bar stock. Four TV sets in the bar were also stolen. The criminals left by derailing the club’s gate.
Malcolm Hean, president of Stella Park Bowling Club, said the club had been broken into three times since 19 June. He said on the first occasion, burglars broke a large shatterproof window into the bar and had managed to get into the office where the safes were. They stole two small safes off the wall.
“Fifteen days later they broke in once again and stole a large safe which four people couldn’t carry! On both occasions they ripped the alarm system out. These break-ins were both in the early morning before 5am,” he said.
On 20 August at around 12.55am, criminals returned to the club, smashing the glass door at the hall, breaking the bar door and taking a TV, and throwing HiFi equipment and decoders on the floor.
“Unfortunately we can’t adapt quickly enough for the speed the criminals are operating these days. We have had to up security by adding beams and security doors. It’s a double edged sword as the criminals are stealing our money, but we need money to fix security. Since the first break-in we have spent probably R25 000 on upgrades. As an NPO we battle to afford this and we are worried they are going to come back, I’m almost certain they will,” said Hean.
Capt Pumzile Makaula from Umbilo SAPS said the police were well aware of the situation.
“We have operational plans in place to address this and have also increased our patrols in these particular areas and surrounds,” she said.