Thieves target gambling machines at Keetmans

29 Jul 2013 10:20
KEETMANSHOOP, 29 JUL (NAMPA) - Three Keetmanshoop business owners suffered huge losses this month when thieves broke into their shebeens, and stole gambling machines as well as cash.
Last Monday, burglars broke into the LA Tropicana shebeen and stole a gambling machine worth N.dollars 87 000, as well as N.dollars 2 000 in cash from a jukebox.
The owner of LA Tropicana, who asked not to be named, confirmed the burglary to Nampa on Sunday, saying the robbers also stole about N.dollars 8 000 accumulated in a jackpot machine.
He said the private security guard who was on duty that evening apparently did not see the thieves when they broke in, but the matter has been reported to the Namibian Police.
“The police must increase the patrols around town, especially on weekends. We are losing property,” he stated.
On Friday evening, a burglary occurred at the Sports Bar in the Tseiblaagte residential area, where a laptop, shoes and clothes worth around N.dollars 8 000 were stolen.
Sports Bar owner John Mathew told Nampa on Monday that fortunately for him, the thieves did not steal his jackpot machines.
A second jackpot machine worth over N.dollars 70 000 was stolen from Sophia’s Dream shebeen in the Kronlein residential area earlier this month.
The co-owner of Sophia’s Dream, Geronnomo Jansen said the robbers cut the alarm and broke the door and burglar bars before they stole cash, recharge vouchers and alcohol worth some N.dollars 70 000, in addition to the jackpot machine.
The business owners say they suspect that the criminals involved in these raids come to the southern town from the capital Windhoek.
Some blame the thefts on the police, who they say do not do their work, which involves protecting residents’ properties.
“One of the places where a jackpot machine was stolen has a security guard, but he was apparently sleeping and failed his duty, so he must be liable for the loss,” Detective Inspector Douglas Hanse of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) countered in an interview today.
The commander of NamPol in the Karas Region, Commissioner Armas Shivute said the police are aware of the break-in, but no suspect has as yet been arrested.
Shivute noted that there are no leads in the theft cases, but the police are keeping their eyes and ears open to ensure that the robbers are apprehended.
The commander denied the allegations that the police do not protect people’s property, and stated that his Force patrols the town day and night.
“I have had a meeting with all business people, and urged them to have security guards and alarms at their premises to avoid thefts, fights and the loss of lives. Some of them claim they do not have money to pay for guards,” Shivute told this news agency.
He further stated that just like the police, business owners have a responsibility to protect their property and customers by enforcing security at their premises.
“Apart from the burglaries, the crime rate in Karas is very low. The holding cells at the Aus settlement, for instance, have been empty for the past two weeks now. So, we are doing very well,” he added.