At approximately 16:00 hrs (4 p.m.) yesterday afternoon, Tuesday 11th December, I was working just outside my gate. I was standing on my stepladder, cutting a Bougainvillea creeper away from the electric fence wires on top of the wall. My gate was half open.
A large vehicle of the ‘people-carrier’ type, metallic silver-grey in colour, which appeared to be a Nissan El Grande but which I subsequently found to have a name something like ‘Basara’ (some of the letters were missing or obscure) on the back door, came past slowly with only driver and passenger on board in the front seats as far as I could see. Both these men looked up at me as they drove past. I noticed that the body moulding at the bottom left rear corner was damaged, with a piece broken out, but unfortunately did not get the registration number; but I would recognise it easily if I saw it again.
Shortly afterwards they returned and stopped at the entrance to my driveway. The driver, well-dressed and well-spoken, got out and addressed me, saying “Seeing you there, I wondered if you could let us have some water as this vehicle keeps overheating?” I said yes I could do that, and told them to park just outside my gate and wait there. I then walked up to the house to fetch a small (4 litre) container of water which I took to their car. When they opened the bonnet I was puzzled to note that the engine was not excessively hot and no steam was coming from the radiator.
The passenger kept re-starting the engine until I told him to switch it off and leave it alone. The driver chatted politely for a few minutes, then put a cloth over the radiator filler cap and removed this; the radiator was full to the brim and certainly nowhere near boiling! I now became very suspicious and realised that they were up to something. However, they thanked me and drove away.
When I returned to the house I found the back door locked and could not get in, so called to my wife to open it, and asked her why it was locked. She told me that she had been sitting quietly in the lounge when she suddenly noticed, with astonishment, in the adjacent dining room, an arm, clearly not that of a family member, reach out and pick up a small zip-bag of mine which I had left on the dining room table. She stood up and addressed this individual, telling him that he would not find anything of value in the bag. He was extremely startled but quickly said that he was looking for pen & paper; my wife then thought that perhaps I had sent him in; she noted that he was well dressed and well-spoken, and was wearing a shiny pair of pointed shoes, so she asked him where he had got these, to which he replied that he had been in London. He then left without taking anything, at which point my wife shut and locked the back door through which he must have entered.
The extraordinary thing to me is how this third person, no doubt an accomplice of the two in the car, had managed to sneak in and out of my property without ever being seen by me, no doubt while I was being distracted by the two at the car. Our concern is that this may have been a reconnaissance trip against a possible future ‘visit’, but I am well armed at home and also have a highly efficient wireless alarm system which has already foiled at least 7 attempted burglaries and thefts from cars in the past. The lesson to be learned is that it is not even safe to assist people who are ostensibly genuine and respectable.
Signed . . . B