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Robberies on the rise in Stellenbosch

A Stellenbosch resident says it’s irresponsible of farmers to keep quiet about attacks in the area.

A Stellenbosch resident says it’s irresponsible of farmers to keep quiet about attacks in the area.

CAPE TOWN - A Stellenbosch farmer's wife says it is irresponsible for farmers to keep quiet about attacks, for fear of losing business.

Western Cape police have confirmed there have been a few early evening robberies on some Stellenbosch farms over the past few weeks.

While some farmers revealed to Eyewitness News they are too afraid to speak out, one woman who wishes to be known only as Angelique says it's short-sighted to keep quiet.

"I think people are asked to keep quiet because a lot of farmers in the Stellenbosch areas have guest houses and something like this will keep clients away."

Western Cape Police Commissioner Arno Lamoer says a special team is dedicated to investigating who is behind a spate of farm attacks in the Winelands.

Some residents believe a gang operating in the area gathers information about the movements of families, and enters private premises in the early evening.

Lamoer admits farm robberies and threats to families are a reality.

He says, as the modus operandi appears to be the same, a gang may be behind the crimes.

"We are busy with investigations on quite a number of cases in the Stellenbosch Winelands area and the Kraaifontein area."

Meanwhile, the Stellenbosch farmer's wife says the police don't often come out.

"It's not always possible to get hold of them or they haven't got enough vehicles to send out to the farms."

The gang of four balaclava-clad men, who communicate in English, reportedly gain entry to homes and then ransack them.