National 26.8.2016 12:56 pm

Robbers use ‘travelling pants’ to mark break-in targets

White Suzuki with fake number plates on its way to break in where a piece of the blue traveling pants were found.

White Suzuki with fake number plates on its way to break in where a piece of the blue traveling pants were found.

After each housebreaking incident in this Witbank neighbourhood, residents are sure to find a pair of blue pants on or near the premises.

After three break-ins and random blue pyjama pants always showing up near the break-in scenes, residents in Witbank, Mpumalanga, got curious about these travelling pants, Witbank News reports.

“At first sight I thought it was lost pyjama pants lying on a rock. Only to get a phone call from my nearby neighbours a few hours later, telling me that their house was broken into,” said a resident living in the complex.

As the third break-in took place two weeks after the first incident, residents were left dispirited.

“Why all of a sudden will these thugs targeting us every week and now turning into an everyday thing?” Louis Kruger, a resident of the complex, asked angrily.

The blue pyjama pants that is going around a complex in the Reyno Ridge area for a while, to use as a marker for the next house to break in.

The blue pyjama pants that is going around a complex in the Reyno Ridge area for a while, to use as a marker for the next house to break in.

On August 11, a break-in took place at the Papenfus residence a month after their dogs had been poisoned.

“They poisoned our dogs in July and broke into the house next to me just days after our incident,” said Nadene Papenfus.

It was alleged by her neighbours that a piece of blue linen was found on their premises just before the incident and was also found at the other break-in spots.

“The day of our burglary, a pair of blue pyjama pants was lying on a rock facing towards our house, but I did not think anything about it. There is always rubbish lying around the open ground opposite us,” said Papenfus.

Then the second attempt happened when the residents, two houses from them, found the exact same travelling pants on their pavement the morning of August 17.

“I quickly headed to the shop and with my return, I found that my electric fence was cut. I immediately contacted my fiancé to tell her. That was when she told me about the pieces of blue material she removed in the morning,” Petrus Botha said.

Two days passed when the second burglary took place in the same complex, with the same piece of blue material found on the victim’s grass.

“My husband saw a bag on our grass the morning of the break-in, with pieces of blue material in, and threw it away, also not thinking anything of it,” said Amanda Coetzer the victim that was broken into on August 19.

An hour after arriving at work, Coetzer got information on their neighbourhood Whatsapp group that an alarm is going crazy at her house.

“I rushed to my house, and when I got there the gardener of my neighbour told me that I have just missed the thieves but that he has the number plate and make of the vehicle they used to clean out my house,” she said.

Blue traveling pants.

Blue traveling pants.

It came to light that the registration plate was false, as it was registered as a red Colt bakkie, and not the white Suzuki that was used for the robbery.

READ MORE: Inside job suspected in Pretoria East break-ins

This was when the pieces of the traveling pants were put together by the residents.

It has been alleged that the pair of blue travelling pants indicates a marker used by the robbers as a signal to indicate the next target.

“We are still trying to figure out what their pattern is, but I can say without any doubt that blue is the colour for heads up,” a member of the CPF (Community Policing Forum) said.

It was also alleged that a blue marker indicates that there are valuables in that certain house, red indicates that there is not as much valuables and grey indicates that the target is easy.

“When you drive past anything that looks suspicious, please do not hesitate to phone your sector police. Or just stop and remove the suspicious looking stuff,” Werner de Jager said.

It is not yet clear how the same type of blue material pieces was found time and again after it was thrown away every time, according to residents.

“Well, all I can say is that the only blue we see at all this burglaries is the pieces of shredded material because nowhere in sight the men in blue was spotted, once,” an anonymous resident concluded.

– Caxton News Service

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