168 arrested as JMPD clean up intersections

A woman was caught at a smash and grab hotspot grabbing jewellery off a motorist’s neck.

A police officer on duty. Picture: Saps

JOHANNESBURG - An 18-year-old woman has been arrested at one of the identified smash and grab hotspots in Johannesburg after she was caught grabbing jewellery off a motorists' neck in traffic.

She is one of the 168 people arrested thus far after the launch of the Metro Police's operation Ke Molao last week.

The Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) have arrested windscreen washers, beggars and street vendors from several hotspot intersections since the launch of their cleanup campaign operation Ke Molao.

A blind man and a man in a wheelchair are among the group.

The Social Development and Home Affairs Departments are working closely with authorities to assist them by sending the arrested people back to shelters.

The JMPD's Wayne Minnaar says the 18-year-old will appear in court on Monday.

"She told officers she lives in Bertrams and makes a living from stealing. It's for that exact reason that operation Ke Molao was established, to remove smash and grab attackers and window washers from all of the hot spots."

JMPD officers have been deployed to at least ten identified hot spots in and around the city where authorities are removing people operating from traffic lights.

Motorists have been complaining about feeling vulnerable in these areas, which have also seen a spike in smash and grabs.

Minnaar says, "The Department of Social Services have taken all the beggars to a shelter while illegal immigrants were processed by the Department of Home Affairs and window washers and smash and grabbers were taken to the Johannesburg Central Police Station where they could pay a fine of R300 or appear before court."