The Cape of Good Hope SPCA’s Vet Shop in Gabriel Road, Plumstead, was ransacked while its camera and alarm systems were down due to load shedding.
The break-in happened in the early hours of Saturday morning, according to Diep River police spokesperson Sergeant Ashley Adonis.
“The suspect(s) gained entry through the roof, removing some of the roof tiles and cut through the ceiling. It is expected they may have exited through the door, causing damage there as well,” Sergeant Adonis said.
No arrests have been made, and the police investigation is ongoing.
SPCA spokesperson Belinda Abraham said an undisclosed amount of cash was taken from the till along with the donation tin, dog food, all the keys to all the locks in the shop and staff’s personal belongings.
“There is damage to (exterior) door frames and support as well as interleading doors inside the shop, and computer equipment was also broken. They were really destructive: the shop was ransacked; they went through literally everything. They even took the time to finish a 2-litre tub of ice cream that was in the shop freezer and drink a staff member’s Yogi Sip.”
The SPCA was still assessing the cost of the damage, she said.
The Cape of Good Hope SPCA’s CEO, Moyo Ndukwana, said those responsible for the break-in had shown “a complete lack of moral consciousness”.
He said: “Our Vet Shops are vital income-generating commercial entities, the proceeds of which go directly back to our important work with animals. We now have to deal with the costs of repairing the damage incurred to the shop structure and equipment, the loss of cash takings and products, and will have to install a 5-kilowatt inverter to prevent a reoccurrence of the same.
“At a time when the SPCA faces significant challenges in terms of an increased demand in services, which is already stretching our resources to the maximum, we simply cannot afford to incur the full cost of the inverter we need to keep our security systems running during load shedding.”
Ward councillor Eddie Andrews condemned the break-in, saying: “It is rather unfortunate that Eskom’s inability to keep the lights on is exploited in such a manner. We have seen an increase in crime during load shedding and ask businesses and private property owners to join the Plumstead Neighbourhood Watch (PNW) as it is an added safety resource. PNW works closely with SAPS, Law Enforcement, traffic services, Metro Police and private security service providers to ensure a safer community.”
The SPCA can be contacted at email@example.com