Warning: Smash-and-grab high risk in Springs CBD – Springs woman tells her story

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Casseldale resident Tutti Meadon (49) reports she has experienced three attempted smash-and-grabs in the CBD over the past six months.

The first incident took place at 5.30pm, on the corner of First Street and Fifth Avenue in November.

• Read: Smash-and-grab trio targets elderly female drivers – EMPD steps in

Meadon says she recently recognised the very same, well-dressed man, approaching her car again at 4pm in the afternoon, on the corner of Second Street and Fifth Avenue.

“There was a basket and shopping bag filled with paperwork on the passengers side in my vehicle,“ she says.

The man allegedly tried to insert his fingers into the small gap left by the open passenger window, but she managed to close the window before he could push it down.

Meadon claims the man said to her, “You must go with me to Payneville“.

“It was only after I drove off that I realised it could have been a hijacking attempt,“ she says.

She has noticed the very same man standing at both intersections at different times for the past two weeks.

On Saturday, Meadon stopped on the corner of Second Street and Second Avenue and, being vigilant, she immediately noticed someone peeping through her passenger side window.

“I am of the opinion that they target woman drivers,“ she says.

Springs resident Celeste Zeilinga (27) says she recently nearly knocked down a pedestrian on the corner of Second Street and Second Avenue, near the War Memorial.

• Also read: Hijackings and smash-and-grabs: the do’s and don’t’s

“I suddenly noticed a man putting his head inside my car through an open window.

“My daughter Abigail (8) slapped him so hard that he disappeared,“ she says.

According to SAPS spokesman Capt Johannes Ramphora, criminals will operate in areas where they have quick escape routes.

He says any intersection that is considered to be close to such escape routes could be potentially problematic; therefore, motorists should be alert and keep their vehicle windows closed and their valuables out of sight.

“We have seen far too many instances where motorists are distracted, by their cellphones in particular, even though it is against the law to use cellphones while you’re in control of a motor vehicle,” he says.

Ramphora says they will send police to patrol the areas mentioned above on a regular basis.

Anna Robertson

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