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EWN Exclusive: Confessions of former 28s gang boss

The ex-con says they routinely use employees of legitimate businesses to scope houses before a break-in.

A former 28’s gang boss, who did not want to be named, speaks to EWN in an exclusive interview on 19 December 2014. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - A former Cape Town gang leader has told Eyewitness News that criminal gangs routinely use employees of legitimate businesses, such as security and courier companies, to scope houses before a planned break-in.

Homeowners have been warned to be vigilant as their movements may be observed by someone they least expect.

In an exclusive interview, the former 28s gang boss, who did not want to be named, has explained in detail how gangs recruit associates who do not look suspicious to work with them.

He's advised home owner to ensure that there are no tell-tale signs of their absence.

"Going out, picking up papers, you must just be vigilant. Look around for who is watching, things like that. You must also change your routines. You must not do the same thing every day or have the same person do them. That breaks that cycle so they [criminals] don't have a surety."

He says prisons are an important networking opportunity for criminals.

The heavily tattooed man was released from prison five years ago, but this former gang boss has spent more than half of his life in jail, 27 of his 53 years.

His arms alone could tell a story, his right arm is imprinted with tattoos from shoulder to wrist and his 28 gang insignia are carved into his shoulders.

He says prisons are often not places of rehabilitation.

Instead, they reinforce gang culture and provide important opportunities for criminals to network.

"We have different backgrounds, we grew up in different areas and we practice [gangsterism] inside and outside because you must practice what you preach."

He says frequently the connections made in prison help gangsters perpetuate crime.

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