In the last week alone I have heard of two attempted muggings in Table Mountain National Park: a mountain biker in Tokai, and a trail runner along the Pipe Track. As the year ends and tourist season reaches its peak, the additional (and mostly less wary) tourists offer rich pickings for the criminal element.
A trail runner managed to out-run a group of more than four assailants on the Pipe Track near Geneva Drive in Camps Bay. A combined effort by neighbourhood watch, SAPS and SANParks saw the apprehension and arrest of suspects (see report below).
Please do not be fooled by the media spin: in the same week that SANParks are publicly patting themselves on the back over the graduation of rangers, there is still violent crime happening in Table Mountain National Park. As before, the authorities are managing to keep it from being reported by the press.
Please: if you hear of any crimes, it is vital that you spread the information.
Article from Camps Bay Watch and SAPS newsletter:
Arrest – Pipe Track
Group of coloured males chase resident on Pipe Track
A local resident was running up the Pipe track when he encountered a group of young coloured males (more than 4) in the nature reserve at the point which is approximately in line with the Geneva Drive entrance, and where there is a sharp path upwards to a higher level. It was at this junction that a group of males started shouting aggressively and coming towards him. The resident felt that he was in danger and that they planned to harm him so he immediately turned around and ran away from the group, effectively outrunning them.
The resident returned home and immediately called Bernard Schäfer to alert him to the incident. The resident then called Watch Con to alert them as well. WatchCon activated TAC Unit and SAPS. Bernard contacted Table Mountain National Parks Rangers and also alerted CERT Members and asked Glen 1 (Carlos) to respond. The off-road unit were also called in to go in search of the suspects.
Glen 1 was the first to spot the suspects who matched the description (multiple coloured males, at least one of which was wearing a red t-shirt and dark clothes) at the top of Prima Avenue. Upon realising they had been spotted they ran and were persued by Glen 1 who cornered them and held them, along with TMNP Rangers (San Parks) at the top of Geneva Drive. SAPS arrived and the suspects were officially searched. Drugs were found on two of the suspects. SAPS also found illegal cuttings of plants from the national park which are known to be mixed with drugs and for other purposes. SAPS then proceeded to arrest all the suspects.
Bernard also arranged for the victim to visit SAPS and give his statement regarding the encounter on the pipe track.
ADVICE – Bernard would like to bring it to the attention of all residents that they should exercise caution when using the pipe track and to do so in groups of at least four people, of whom at least two of which are male. Unfortunately even in a group of four people your safety is still not guaranteed and so vigilance is always required. DO NOT walk or run there on your own as it is not safe.
Bernard would like to thank TMNP Rangers for their fantastic and expeditious response. Multiple rangers responded to the alert very quickly, and they have also been doing extra patrols since the incident.
Thanks to SAPS Officers as the incident occurred around the time of the SAPS shift change, but officers going off duty stayed up to one hour after their shift ended in order to assist.
Carlos (Glen 1) deserves a big thank you for being instrumental in the arrest of the suspects. Thanks also go to other CERT members also responded in order to offer their assistance after hearing the call on the radio.