A Canadian tourist allegedly robbed of his belongings worth thousands of dollars during a break-in at an upmarket Camps Bay room says he doubts he will return to the city following a “horrific experience” with police.The tourist, who asked that his name be withheld, said he was forced to cancel his trip to his next destination, Namibia, and return home after being robbed of camera gear that he had acquired over the past 15 years.
It was the second time he had visited Cape Town.
“On the second night, December 8, thieves broke into the house in the middle of the night as I slept in the other room. I only realized the next morning when I woke up.
“Apparently that is a good thing as I could have ended up seriously injured, or killed,” he said.
The tourist believes that the thieves used the cover of a gusty wind to break in.
“The police response was straight out of the movies, a cross between a horror and comedy movie. They came after a reasonable delay.
“As one officer sat and took down my statement, the other said he was going to watch TV. I thought he was joking, but he actually did that.
“He did not look for any clues or check the perimeter of the property. He watched cricket,” said the tourist.
He claims that three days after the incident someone wanted to come and take fingerprints. “This was a horrifying experience for me.
“I had never been robbed and lost thousands of dollars of possessions, including photographs from (my previous destination) Ethiopia.
“Needless to say this ruined my whole vacation as I then canceled my trip to Namibia and just wanted to get back home as quickly as possible.
“While the shocking robbery was not the fault or responsibility of the government, it does speak to the lawlessness and dangers that tourists face when visiting Cape Town,” he added.
He said his equipment had not been recovered. In response to his complaint, the Department of Tourism said the matter had been referred to its complaint officer for investigation.
“To be honest I would be very resistant to go back to South Africa. The truth is, I had met some very wonderful people, the natural beauty is fantastic and although you can be robbed anywhere really, what really concerns me is being robbed at night while I was present, and the ridiculous response of the police,” he said.
Police spokesperson Andre Traut said: ‘‘We are currently looking into the allegations leveled at SAPS and will be in a better position to respond, once our investigation has been concluded.’’
By: SIYAVUYA MZANTSI/iOL