These things are happening and the modus operandi and even the type of vehicles used have been identified yet all the police will do is deny there is a connection. Deny. Deny. Deny. In other words, we don't care to tell you if we know something. In most First World countries, police go out of their way to reassure the public.
What the cops are saying really is they don't have the personnel capable of apprehending these people, and if they were to acknowledge a connection, why then has it been two years with no results and when could Joe Public expect arrests? Nah, it's better to deny that a problem even exists so that they are not put on the clock so-to-speak. Much like the denials that followed the robberies and murder of people who were followed from the airport. It was denied for years until several syndicates were apprehended. Why does the police insist on insulting our intelligence?
But police say these robberies are not linked — and deny Rolex gang exists
Rolex gang strikes again
Poshly dressed women rob at gunpoint
At least four gangs are terrorising Johannesburg’s wealthiest residents — stripping them of their valuable jewellery and, in some cases, their cars — in crimes branded “followed-home robberies”.
The gangs are slick: the members dress well, drive top-of-the-range cars and even wear expensive jewellery to allow them to blend in with their surroundings. They are professional, able to recognise designer jewellery and accessories — and they select their victims at Johannesburg’s most exclusive malls.
One of the four gangs believed to be behind a spate of attacks on some of South Africa’s most powerful businessmen in the past year A gang is dubbed the “Rolex Gang” : three men and two women who drive a blue Jeep Cherokee and take only expensive designer jewellery in “driveway” armed robberies.
Another gang follows a similar modus operandi, but two others go further: one gang takes the car; the other takes the car and loots the house, too.
The second gang operates in the same manner, also taking only jewellery;
- The third gang takes the car too; and
- The fourth gang goes inside the house to take whatever they can as well.
He said it was believed that victims were identified at shopping centres and followed until they reached home, where the gangs pounced. Conroy Roberts of Top Security said the gangs targeted mostly shopping malls in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, including Hyde Park, Sandton and Dunkeld West, where shops cater for affluent customers.
He said the members of the gangs were not ordinary criminals, but experts who could identify valuable jewellery. The security experts said the gangs drove luxury cars such as a BMW, the Jeep Cherokee and a VW Touareg.
Since June last year, there have been at least nine incidents where high-profile people were involved in robberies bearing the hallmarks of a Rolex gang attack.
Celebrity lawyer Billy Gundelfinger and his family were beaten and robbed in their Sandhurst driveway in February, just minutes after their neighbours suffered the same ordeal and, in July last year, Discovery Holdings boss Adrian Gore and his family were targeted twice within a few days.
Official police statistics for Gauteng show that robberies with aggravating circumstances were down by about 5000 in 2008, but in the Sandton police precinct — which includes some of South Africa’ s wealthiest suburbs — they increased by 5%.
And robberies at homes in this precinct increased from 343 in 2007 to 404 in 2008, although home robbery figures were down in the province.
Admitting that there had been a few “isolated” cases, Gauteng provincial police spokesman Superintendent Eugene Opperman denied that specific gangs carried out the robberies. (nonsense..!)
Opperman said police crime intelligence had found no “hard and fast” evidence that gangs were responsible for the terror sprees. “You do get normal robbers that go around and steal jewellery. We have not come across evidence to say there is a Rolex gang,” he said.
The way victims are chosen
- The gangs pick out their victims at coffee shops or grocery stores at shopping malls around the city, including Rosebank, Sandton City, Melrose Arch, Hyde Park and Benmore Gardens. Victims are usually identified by a “spotter” or “big guy”. Apart from identifying the victims from their jewellery, spotters also check their shopping baskets. Ice-cream, meat, fresh fruit and vegetables indicate that victims are more likely to go straight home.
- The gang then track the victims home. “Once they identify a target, they will stick to that target, ” said Jakes de Jager, Core’s head of investigations. Often there is a second vehicle outside the house as back-up.
- They are very professional, resourceful, well trained and organised.
- The suspects are usually well dressed, carry licensed firearms in case they are stopped, and drive Audi Q7 s and BMW X5 s to blend into wealthy areas. “They wear Rolexes and they may have legitimate connections,” said Jakes de Jager, head of investigations at Core.
- They identify their victims in two ways: either by spotting them driving around the city or while waiting at shopping centres. De Jager said they generally targeted women driving alone but did not exclude men.
De Jager said the gangs were generally made up of four men: one stays in the car, another holds open the gate, while the other two are involved in the actual attack. He said the more experienced gangs would not harm their victims, while the younger gangs were “more aggressive”.
Don’t be a target
- Always be on the lookout for suspicious-looking characters or vehicles (especially with tinted windows);
- Never open your vehicle window or door for any stranger;
- Never sit in your parked car without being conscious of your surroundings;
- When approaching your driveway, look out for suspicious vehicles or persons, and
- speed away from perceived danger;
- Be observant and alert, and check your mirrors regularly;
- Avoid public displays of wealth; and
- Report any suspicious activity to police.