Some horrid person nicked the brass plate cover of our letterbox on Friday morning.
We reported it at the Pinelands Police Station this morning, leaving our contact details and these two ‘before and after’ photographs. (See, sometimes there’s an advantage to taking so many photos!)
When the friendly policeman at the Community Service Office asked whether we wanted to open a case docket – or whether we merely wanted to report it, I said the latter would probably suffice.
Opening a case apparently means that a detective would be allocated to come out and investigate the case, which could at some stage go to court. Hm, yeah, really? Actually, I suspect that this is only the theory, not the practice, as they have far more important things to do than investigating stolen letter boxes!
I just want it to become part of the crime statistics for the area; however, the policeman was rather vague on that score, so it’s possible that my information was just File 13’d, as soon as we left. Perhaps I should follow up in a couple of days?
Anyway, it’s not as though there is any hope of getting it back, and it is ‘only’ petty crime after all, but I still wanted to report it officially. If we don’t tell the police and each other that these things are happening in our area, the situation will never change, and they cannot motivate for more manpower and patrols if they don’t have accurate crime statistics. Right? Hm. Riiight.
South Africa has a huge problem with theft of copper and non-ferrous metals (we have a huge, thriving and unfortunately corrupt scrap metal industry – informative article here). Tons of ‘scrap’ are being illegally shipped to the East all the time, even though we do have a specialised Metal Theft Unit in our City (they are known as ‘the Copperheads’ because they deal primarily with the epidemic of copper cable theft).
We knew that it was only a matter of time before our letterbox cover was nicked, because even a brief cruise around the neighbouring streets revealed that almost all the houses in our area had had theirs ripped out or broken off too. Brass, copper or aluminium house numbers, conduits, electrical cables, water meters, water pipes and taps – everything metallic seems to be fair game.
Welcome to the far less pleasant side of Sunny South Africa.
To end on a positive note: Do you have any creative suggestions on how we could make our letterbox look nice and pretty again, but without offering any further temptations to dastardly thieves?