DURBAN: "Thieves whispered they would kill us over some copper pipes"

DURBAN: "Thieves whispered they would kill us over some copper pipes"

"You were supposed to be sleeping, I have a gun, I will kill you!" 

A basin tap with missing copper pipes
A basin tap with missing copper pipes/Supplied

Copper theft has become a thriving industry for criminals in and around KZN and South Africa. 

And regardless of where you live, it feels like criminals don't discriminate. There used to be a time where we were able to profile criminals and be proactive against them. 

But that is becoming more and more difficult to do. It's almost as if we need to constantly have our guards up.

This invisible guard that's always up, was down during the early hours of the morning. And, bam, they hit us while we were down, left as prisoners in our home, fearful and angry at the same time. 

We live in a suburb that has its fair share of crime. A community that has more than one 'crime watch' or neighbourhood watch WhatsApp group. 

Boomed gate entrances, armed security companies patrolling, alarm systems, barbed wires, electric fencing, CCTV, and electronic beams that activate with movement sensors. All seem to be null and void. 

Because criminals find a way to push the boundaries and test the limits. 

When our alarm went off the other morning at 1h45am, we jumped up and ran to our keypad. 

Suddenly, we heard loud noises, the only comparison I can make to the sound we were hearing was that of the sound of monkeys on your roof tiles. 

If you live in KZN, you will understand. But, of course, monkeys aren't prone to coming for a visit at that time in the morning. 

And so, the harsh reality was that there were thieves in our yard. 

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Instinctively, we ran to check and saw them. My husband shouted at them thinking that would deter them, but that only caused them to hurry up and take what they could. 

Of course, it was not going to be a wasted burglary. But what shook me wasn't the fact that they continued despite knowing we were aware of their presence. 

It was the sneery way the one guy came close to the door and whispered loudly (if that's even possible) that we were supposed to be asleep, he had a gun, and would kill us. 

In hindsight, I realise that he probably only did that out of fear. But the fact that he made it seem like it was our fault for not being asleep was ridiculous. The arrogance that he displayed by so easily threatening to take our lives, that's what hit me hard. 

The mere fact that as humans we can even succumb to the thought of taking someone's life literally moved my world. 

After hearing that, we retreated and just let them take the pipes. After all, our lives were more important. 

But the sad reality of it all, when the dust settles, and you pick yourself up, is that you have to find a way of paying for the damages and replacing the pipes, because we need water.  

Every sound you hear leaves you jumpy, every person that walks past your home looks suspicious, and you are left traumatised by what seems like the most mediocre of crimes. But that's the thing, even the most mediocre of crimes leaves us scared and with an everlasting sense of distrust and anger...

Carol podcasts
East Coast Radio

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