Spate of robberies targeting tourists in Swakopmund

The Swakopmund Neighbourhood Watch is appealing to the tourist industry to be vigilant and educate guests from other countries on safety and security tips. This appeal comes in the wake of a series of robberies reported within the past few days. Some tourists were robbed in their sleep, others even mugged at knife point.

“We believe there are a couple of people that are very well-organised. They have a lot of time and observe tourists carefully. They know exactly when and where to strike,” said Dewald Swart from the Neighbourhood Watch to namib times.
Since Thursday last week at least six cases were reported, where tourists fell victim of the rising crime rate. “It is of utmost importance that tourists get safety tips and should something happen, that we are called immediately. Even if only 15 minutes pass after an incident it is too late to catch the perpetrators,” he said.
The most recent case was reported on Sunday morning at a hotel in town. Two perpetrators entered the establishment under the pretence that they were looking for a certain guest staying at the hotel. One guy kept the staff on duty busy, whilst the other one slipped past the reception and entered a guest room by climbing through an open window. The guests woke-up and after a scuffle the perpetrator returned the stolen goods to the guests. He then left the room, casually sauntered past the reception and managed to get away with his accomplice following him.
On Saturday evening at about 19:00 another case was reported. An unknown perpetrator broke into a tent of tourists camping at a backpacker establishment in town and stole a bag containing passports and cash. No arrests were made. On Friday evening another tourist became a victim of the spate in crime, when she was returning to to her accommodation establishment after a night in town. She was robbed of her bag shortly before midnight.
During the course of last week more cases were reported. In one instance two tourists sleeping in their vehicle in the parking lot at the amphitheatre were robbed in the early morning hours by three unknown perpetrators. The thieves managed to get away with a brown slingbag containing cash and their passports amongst other things.
Only a few hours before this incident on Wednesday evening another robbery with aggravated circumstances took place between 22:00 and 22:30. A foreign tourguide, who was walking between an accommodation establishment and a restaurant, was cornered by at least two perpetrators. One came from behind and held a knife against his throat whilst a second one stole his money bag containing a fairly large amount cash, mainly USD and Euros.
In a similar fashion two more tourists were robbed in the evening in town in the vicinity of the old Kaserne. Witnesses reported that the perpetrator followed the group of tourists consisting of two couples. He then approached them from behind and was armed with a knife. He cut the strap of the handbag and ran off to a taxi parked close-by. No arrests was made yet.
The sudden rise in crime against tourists is a concern to Swart who says that such cases harm the reputation of Namibia as a tourist destination. “While we try to bring the perpetrators to book it is essential that arriving tourists are made aware of basic safety tips and that they should become aware of their surroundings,” he said.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login