Concern over theft of video cameras in city centre

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By ROD AMNER

Local business owners arrived at work on Wednesday, 15 September, to find their street-facing security cameras stolen.

One business owner, Andre McLean, immediately called Hi-Tec and provided them with footage of someone with their face uncovered, reaching to remove the one camera at 9 pm on Tuesday 14 September. The cameras record to a hard drive where footage can later be retrieved, such as in this case.

In total, three cameras were stolen, one off the building at Mac’s Auto and two from the building further up the road on the corner of High Street and Cuyler.

McLean said he called Hi-Tec because “when somebody removes cameras at night, it’s because they’re planning to do something later. It takes some time to get cameras back up and running; you have to buy new cameras and have them installed.”

He had a hunch that something was planned because “other businesses in our street are more vulnerable, so that’s why I called Hi-Tec. For instance, the Post Office is very busy from the 15th through to the 25th with people collecting money,” McLean said.

Hi-Tec and SAPS increased their presence in the area from Wednesday morning.

Hi-Tec’s Armed Response Manager, Derek Richardson, said, “Hi-Tec has upped the presence in Cuyler Street [because]the cameras were removed for a reason; something was being planned.”

Cameras play an important role in identifying potential suspects when they do target businesses and homes.

When asked about the increased police presence, Col Nel of SAPS Grahamstown said that this had nothing to do with any planned heist but that “there was a general alert country-wide that there will be more money coming to Post Offices with the R350 relief grant starting up again.”

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