Police arrested 39 men and a woman during a raid on a Woodstock squatter camp.
The SAPS and Metro police officers swooped on the “Plasie” settlement in Wright Street early on Wednesday last week.
Woodstock police spokesman Sergeant Malila said the woman, 43, was found with stolen golf clubs.
The men, who range in age from 18 to 58, were held for questioning and profiling and then released.
The police were responding to complaints from residents about crime in the area and allegations that a local gang was extorting money from nearby businesses.
An employee at one of the businesses, who did not want to be named, fearing reprisals, said there had been attempted burglaries at the store and gangs had sprayed graffiti nearby.
Ward 115 councillor Dave Bryant said the Wright Street property that was home to Plasie was on the City’s “problem building” list. “Problem buildings continue to be an issue in the ward, and I would appeal to all residents and business to work with the City and the SAPS in helping to identify potential problem sites.”
To report crime, call Woodstock police at 021 442 3108.