Police are urging the elderly to be more vigilant and alert when at home. Elderly people are vulnerable victims to criminals and very often are too trusting of anyone, especially strangers that enter their property.
Although the warning was issued by police in Port Elizabeth, it is relevant for people everywhere.
Police are appealing to elderly people living on their own to take extra precautions regarding safeguarding their safety as well as safeguarding their property and personal belongings.
This advice was issued after a 79-year-old man was allegedly robbed in his house in Mount Pleasant on Tuesday February 12. According to SAPS, the complainant was busy outside at about 9.30am and when he went inside he remembers falling and waking up minutes later. When he woke up he realised that an unknown amount of cash was taken.
It is further alleged that the gardener who started working for him three weeks ago was at the house on the day. He disappeared soon after the alleged robbery.
- Police are requesting the elderly to ensure that gardeners and domestic workers are properly interviewed and copies of their relevant ID and address are obtained prior to employment.
- Never leave doors or gates open when casual labour is used at home.
- Always make sure that regular visits by family or friends are done and/or notify a close family member/friend on the days that the gardener or other help will be at the house.
- NEVER trust strangers and allow them into the house no matter the genuine or courteous behaviour they may portray.
- Alarm systems must be activated when retiring to bed at night. Close family (children) or another concerned relative or friend/pastor should make regular visits to the house to ensure that all is well.
Neighbours are advised to look out for their elderly neighbour as frequently as possible, especially during the evenings to assist them in locking up.
The elderly are important pillars of society and their well-being and safety must be protected, SAPS said.