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Gate motor thieves are operating in these Joburg suburbs, security firm warns

There is a thriving black market for gate motor parts. Stock photo.
There is a thriving black market for gate motor parts. Stock photo.
Image: 123rf/ Dirk Ercken

Gate motor theft is a growing problem in Johannesburg, with a private security firm reporting incidents daily.

This is particularly affecting residents in Greenside, Blairgowrie and Linden.

“This week alone there were 20 reported incidents,” said Charnel Hattingh, group head of marketing and communications at Fidelity ADT.

The thefts usually occur between 5pm and 5am.

Hattingh said there is a thriving black market for gate motor parts.

“Stolen gate motors are either stripped down and components (batteries, gearboxes and so on) are sold individually or as complete units to unsuspecting homeowners by 'access automation bandits', as they are often referred to.

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

The company offered these tips for homeowners:

  • Ensure your gate motor is secured in a steel casing or bracket which is locked at all times. Suspects often place their hands through the gate if your gate motor is unsecured and installed next to a palisade-type gate. They are then able to switch the gate to manual and access your property.
  • Make use of a good-quality lock to secure the motor’s theft-resistant cage. Preferably opt for an insurance-rated padlock.
  • Install adequate anti-lift brackets and weld a piece of flat bar onto the gate rack to prevent thieves bending the rack upwards.
  • Combine mechanical antitheft systems, such as traditional theft-resistant cages, with electronic notification devices, for example sound bombs and GSM units which are able to send notifications to users when the device’s inputs are triggered.

“Your electric gate should be one of the first perimeter deterrents to protect you from crime. Activate early warning systems such as garden beams and/or electric fencing and ensure these are linked to armed response.”


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