Namibia: Fairytale-Style Burglary At Swakop

A Swakopmund resident was shocked when he allegedly woke up to find a stranger sitting on his sofa in the living room with a glass of whisky in hand, after breaking into the house on Friday night.

The incident happened when members of the Swakopmund Neighbourhood Watch (SNW) were attending to an attempted break-in at an electrical appliances store at Swakopmund on the same night, and were alerted to another break-in which they described as akin to the famous fairytale 'Goldilocks and The Three Bears'.

In the tale, the young girl, Goldilocks, enters the house of the three bears and helps herself to some food, much to the dismay of the three bears who return home to find their food eaten and a stranger in their house.

A police officer at the Swakopmund Police Station confirmed the incident, but said no charge was laid against the suspect.

According to SNW's Andre van Rensburg, members received a call from a woman who overheard her neighbour fighting with someone in his apartment, and screaming "why did you break into my apartment?".

She could also hear that he was struggling with someone.

The SNW responded, and found a well-known suspect lying on the couch in the apartment where he was found.

"The perpetrator broke into the apartment, took a shower (he brought his own amenities), left his dirty rags in the bathroom, changed into some of the flat owner's clothes, made himself some 'rice crispies', and poured himself a glass of whisky," explained Van Rensburg.

The activity woke the unnamed apartment owner who, after inspecting the source of the activity, found the perpetrator relaxing in the lounge with his whisky. He had allegedly gained access into the flat through a window.

The SNW identified the suspect as one of the "street kids" who harass residents and visitors on a daily basis with impunity.

"Despite numerous discussions with the local authority, the police, ministries of justice and of labour and social welfare, no solution on the 'street kids' menace has been found, and they freely continue with their unacceptable behaviour," he stressed.

A small group of loiterers, unregistered vendors and car guards have also become a nuisance to the public, sometimes threatening members of the public with violence, he said, furthermore accusing the group of chasing away tourists and investors.

The committee has in the meantime been transformed into the Community Policing Forum, but it still has to deal with the same concerns.

During a meeting over the issue a few months ago, the committee felt that nothing was being done to curb the problem, and that these alleged culprits would destroy Swakopmund.During that meeting police spokesperson, sergeant Immanuel Pelican Mundjindi said there were not enough police officers to deal with the "street kids" menace, adding that it was of no use issuing them tickets for fines because witnesses refused to come forward to make statements, or are not willing to go to court should the "street kids" not pay the fine - and the matter gets thrown out.

Van Rensburg seconded this, stating that after he learnt that no charges were laid against the housebreaking suspect, it was the norm that people did not want to lay charges for various reasons.

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