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Crime in Paternoster

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Pretoria
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Crime in Paternoster

Me and my family recently spent five days holidaying in Paternoster and we were unfortunately victims of crime during our stay. We therefore want to inform other travelers of our experience, hopefully avoiding others having the same misfortune. We rented a house (Shallow Waters) through the Stay in Paternoster agency. The house was very nice and so was Paternoster. There was a note in the house, as well as in the information provided by Stay in Paternoster, that petty theft was an issue in Paternoster and that one should take care to close and lock windows and doors when leaving the house. Living in Pretoria we are also used to crime, we therefore always used the alarm when leaving the house and made sure that doors and windows were closed and locked when going to bed. The alarm, however, could not be set while in the house.

On our third morning in the house we realized that somebody had broken into the house during the night while we were sleeping. They had forced open a window leading to the kitchen and then proceeded to steal a number of things from the kitchen/dining area. We lost a valuable camera, wallets, clothes, DVDs, sunglasses, food, running shoes etc. Luckily they had not moved into the bedrooms and hence left us alone. They had also taken the car keys and searched the car but thankfully not taken the car. We called the police, who arrived quickly and we were most impressed with the service they provided. Although, we do not have much hope that they will catch the thieves or that we would get things back it was nice to be provided with good service and a real sense that they took the issue seriously.

People from a neighboring guesthouse also came by to ask if we were ok and said they would ask around to see if anybody knew anything. We were however, sadly not very happy with the service provided by Stay in Paternoster. Even though they were informed about the break in they never once contacted us to hear if we were ok or if we needed help. Or even to ask if there was damage to the house or if items belonging to the house were stolen. We repeatedly called them to ask if it was possible to set the alarm while in the house and we all felt uncomfortable staying there. We also have to very small kids and visiting grandparents from the UK who are not used to the crime levels in South Africa. Never once did they call us back and it was over a day later that they managed to find a number to ADT for us to call on instructions for how to set the alarm. We specially asked them to come in inspect the damage to the window and to make sure nothing from the house was stolen but they never showed. We are also worried that had anything been taken they would then have held us responsible.

Even though it might not strictly been Stay in Paternosters responsibility to offer assistance or indeed even express concern or sympathy one would have thought it would come with reasonable service. As a home owner renting out my property I would also be concerned that they did not take time to inspect the damage done to the property, which is surely their responsibility.

I would still definitely recommend people visiting Paternoster but I would strongly advise that you only rent a house with an alarm that can be set while in the house and that you always keep your valuables in your bedroom. I would also advise against using Stay in Paternoster simply because of their lack of service.

60 replies to this topic
Cape Town
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1. Re: Crime in Paternoster

We had a very similar experience in April 2011 except it appeared that the robber had a key to the house we had rented (also through Stay in Paternoster). The cops and the security company were great and both told us this was a common occurrence and that they thought that duplicate keys to houses were being cut for housebreaking through the cleaning services and rental agencies had keys! We rented the cottage through Stay in Paternoster and we also found them to be slack and uncaring... very bad for Paternoster tourism! It's an incredibly beautiful place but....

Edited: 04 May 2011, 10:20
Cape Town
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2. Re: Crime in Paternoster

We had a similar experience in August 2012. We stayed in a cottage run by ABALONE HOUSE (Oppiedraai, Seaside Cottages), which was broken into during the evening, while we were sleeping.

Upon arrival at ABALONE HOUSE, we were immediately asked to sign an indemnity form. Obviously they knew how bad crime is in the area, yet felt no need to inform us (obviously protected by the indemnity form).

Speaking to locals after the break-in, they expressed their knowledge of the high crime rate, and how it is affecting tourism. The police, while taking our statements, informed us of the high crime rate, stating that guests houses, hotels, etc have signs in the rooms warning guests of the high crime rate. ABALONE HOUSE did not have these warnings - they had their indemnity, our money. A staff member stayed in a cottage below ours, which was broken into a few months ago. A guest from their cottage was broken into last year (see Seaside Cottages review on this website). Yet they did not feel the need to inform us of the high crime rate.

We have not heard a word from ABALONE HOUSE since the break-in.

My advise - stay away from Paternoster. As Idyllic, and beautiful as it is, its more a risk than a holiday. Especially stay away from ABALONE HOUSE, and all guest houses run by them (Oppiedraai, Seaside Cottages).

Cape Town
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3. Re: Crime in Paternoster

ABALONE HOUSE also run the following cottages, which I recommend all Paternoster visitors ignore due to the low premium they place on security in a crime ridden area, and of which reports of break-ins have been reported on this site, as well as to the Vredenburg police:

SEASIDE COTTAGES

OPPIE DRAAI

KLIPHUISIE

SUGARSHACK

PASELLA

Edited: 13 August 2012, 12:04
Stanley, Falkland...
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4. Re: Crime in Paternoster

You are not the first to post these bizarre stories about Paternoster.

I assume there is something behind it - a competitor, perhaps? I think I'll ignore the warnings and take my chances.....

Cape Town
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5. Re: Crime in Paternoster

Good luck to you sir.

Cape Town Central...
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6. Re: Crime in Paternoster

Myself and my family and 2 other couples just spent the long weekend in Parternoster. We were warned about "petty crime" too, so were extra cautious. Thankfully the house we stayed was left alone. We did hear from 1 lady that the house she was staying in, was cleaned out! As well as on the Sunday we were told by our neighbours that the house to the left of us had been broken into! I am not so sure that this is just "petty crime" anymore!

Something else that we found quite disturbing was that the locals were trying to sell us Crayfish. It is not Crayfish season! This should also be attended to by local authorities.

We would love to go back to Parternoster. I sincerely hope that something will be done about the crime!

Gold Coast...
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for Kruger National Park
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7. Re: Crime in Paternoster

Peter

And other similar strange threads.

They keep getting trawled up once a year ?! by single posters.

Cape Town
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8. Re: Crime in Paternoster

Peter, thesandmans

Visit Paternoster, speak to the locals, speak to the police. Then decide for yourself.

I just urge you to be super cautious, and look after your belongings.

I am not here for any other reason than to prevent visitors experiencing what I experienced.

Cape Town Central...
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9. Re: Crime in Paternoster

We have a holiday home in Paternoster and over the past 10 years have lost count of the number of times we've been robbed of our possessions.

Visitors to Paternoster are always targets for criminals as they tend to think that it's a peaceful and quiet village which it is not.

Criminals prowl the area day and night looking for opportunities to gain access through unlocked doors or windows. They know when alarms are not set at night and don't hesitate to break-in as you sleep!

In addition to the rampant crime, if you are looking for peace and quiet forget Paternoster. It's now known as "Partynoster" - every weekend you''ll find music blaring until the early hours of the morning from the The Lodge, Paternoster Hotel or the many self-catering cottages let out to visitors who only want to party and don't give a hoot about the visitors who come to Paternoster to relax.

Like Howard suggests, be cautious and choose a holiday rental that is secure, and if you want peace and quiet stay away from the central areas of Paternoster.

Auckland, New...
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10. Re: Crime in Paternoster

Hi,

We were in Paternoster on the 14th of February this year and not only was our beach house burgled on our wedding day, 5 other houses were burgled as well over the weekend.

The police know who the characters are but don't pick them up , they tried to sell our goods back to us which resulted in a bit of a hostile situation as the guys who appeared at the beach house were gang members.

Some of our guests left a night early as they were afraid of another burglary and when we left the Saturday the cops were investigating our neighbour who had been robbed again after they had posted a police car on patrol outside our house due to our burglary.

NOT GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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