RESIDENTS of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay have been warned to be on the lookout for a gang of thieves who are focused on stealing laptop computers and other valuables from businesses.
Inspector Ileni Shapumba, the commander of the Namibian Police’s Community Affairs Division in the Erongo Region, issued the warning and said that the thieves are using the mandatory wearing of masks to their advantage.
He said the gang vary in size from two to four men that enters shops and other businesses while wearing masks and hoodies.
“They then pretend to request for quotations and will wait at the counter until the service provider moves away from the laptop and other valuable items. When the service provider’s attention is diverted, they will grab the laptop or phones on the counter and runs away,” he said.
He said many business in the two coastal towns are equipped with closed-circuit television cameras but the police are having difficulty identifying the culprits because they are wearing masks.
They also cover their heads with hats or hoodies.
“Members of the public or shop owners are advised to keep their valuable properties away from service counters and other easily reached places where it can be grabbed from. Business owners are also advised to improve security at their premises including control of people entering or leaving their buildings,” he said.
Inspector Shapumba said the police has observed a significant increase in economic crimes after the State of Emergency was lifted.
Other acts include theft, assault, and stock theft cases in areas of Otjimbingwe, Uis, and Omatjete.
“We discourage members of the public from buying suspected stolen property. Besides promoting crime, people buying stolen property will also be arrested and tried criminally,” he said.
He urged the public to report any information about a criminal act or planned criminal act promptly to the Namibian Police.