Tricksters on the Prowl

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By Charles Tjatindi

WALVIS BAY

The police at Walvis Bay have warned the public to be on the look-out for conmen who masquerade as debt collectors to access homes and make inventories on house content before coming back to steal.

Residents have reported cases where men posing as debt collectors turn up at residences and demand to ‘repossess’ some furniture and other household appliances.

The elegantly dressed and well spoken men, who are believed to be operating as a group, would apparently randomly show up at residential properties during working hours and instruct housekeepers to assist them to list all available furniture and appliances. Information so obtained is used at a later stage when actual theft takes place.

Although no arrests have been made yet, a source at the Walvis Bay Police confirmed knowledge of the scheme. He said the police are yet to arrest anyone in this connection following investigations. He, however, called on residents to come forward with information that could lead to the arrest of the culprits.

An elderly woman, who refused to be named, related to New Era how three young men dressed in overalls showed up at her residence and demanded to ‘repossess’ some furniture, claiming that the house owner had failed to pay his account.

She apparently told them to come back after 17h00 to speak to the homeowner, as she was merely visiting the family from another town. The men allegedly refused to budge and compiled a list of some items in the house before leaving the premises.

“They had no formal identification of the company they claimed to represent. That is what made me even more suspicious,” she said.

The men are said to be operating with two pick-up trucks. They appear to be targeting Narraville residents. A local newspaper, however, reported that similar incidents have also been reported in Walvis Bay town centre.

The newspaper related an incident in which an elderly couple fell victim to a man initially posing as a priest. He allegedly showed up at the couple’s house saying he was a priest and wanted to pray for them. They let him in. After he left, the elderly couple was minus a wallet and some cash. According to reports, the same man showed up at the couple’s house a few months later – this time allegedly ‘looking’ for someone who once lived there. The couple, however, recognised him from the earlier encounter and refused him entry.

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