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Wednesday / 19 June 2024
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Gate motor thieves targeting a new Joburg suburb

Gate motor theft in the City of Johannesburg continues to be a headache in areas including Fontainebleau, Malanshof, Randparkridge, and Windsor; but is now also becoming an issue in Bromhof, an area that was previously largely left alone by these “access automation bandits.”

Security group Fidelity ADT receives up to 20 reports a day for gate motor theft with Bromhof recently being affected by this crime for the first time.

“[Gate motor theft] has been an ongoing problem in [these] areas, excluding Bromhof which has for the first time been affected,” said Fidelity ADT’s Charnel Hattingh.

She notes there is a thriving black market for gate motor parts in South Africa which is the primary motivator behind these thefts, which usually happen under the guise of darkness.

“Stolen gate motors are either stripped down and their various components (batteries, gearboxes, etc.) sold individually or they are sold as complete units to unsuspecting homeowners by these ‘access automation bandits’ as they are often referred to,” said Hattingh.

“There is also a worrying trend of suspects deactivating the gate motor and accessing the property while on manual override.”

Securing your gate motor

Hattingh advises homeowners to ensure that their gate motor is secured in a steel casing or bracket which is locked at all times.

“Suspects often just place their hands through the gate if your gate motor is unsecured and installed right next to a ‘palisade-type’ gate,” said the expert.

“They are then able to switch the gate to manual and access your property.”

Use a high-quality lock to secure the theft-resistance cage, preferably an insurance-rated padlock which is far more difficult to pick or cut.

Additionally, combine these mechanical anti-theft systems with electronic notification devices, for example, sound bombs and GSM units that can send notifications to your smartphone when the device is triggered.

“Your electric gate should be one of the first perimeter deterrents to protect you from crime,” concludes Hattingh.

“We need to do our bit to reduce crime by making it harder for the criminals. Safeguard your gate motors!”

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