Sledge­ham­mer used in home at­tack

Post - - News - JA­NINE MOODLEY

PUSHED to the floor with guns held to the back of their heads, a well-known Dur­ban North doc­tor and his wife had to re­mind them­selves to re­main calm to make it out of their or­deal alive.

The cou­ple, who lived in Ken­neth Kaunda Road (North­way) for more than 20 years, were en­joy­ing a meal on Fri­day evening when four armed men broke through the front door with a sledge­ham­mer.

Dressed in hood­ies and gloves, they dragged the cou­ple to a room and pinned them to the ground – but not be­fore the quick-think­ing hus­band got to the panic but­ton.

Speak­ing to POST, the 55-year-old fam­ily doc­tor said the rob­bers or­dered them to keep quiet and made him switch off the alarm.

“I com­plied, know­ing that our safety was more im­por­tant. They started ask­ing about the safe. I told them we didn’t have one, but they per­sisted.

“They ran up­stairs and ran­sacked the place, even­tu­ally find­ing the safe. They broke through it with the same sledge­ham­mer and loaded cash and my wife’s gold jew­ellery into pil­low cases.”

He said there was a fifth guy wait­ing in a car. “About five or six min­utes later, a car started to hoot and they were out of the door.”

The doc­tor said he waited a few min­utes be­fore call­ing the police just in case they re­turned.

The home in­va­sion, he said, was well planned.

“They knew ex­actly where to hit the door to get it to open and where to go for the valu­ables. They didn’t take the TV or any­thing else.”

He said he had sub-con­trac­tors work­ing on the roof ear­lier in the week and found it odd the rob­bery had taken place soon af­ter­wards.

He and his wife, 54, had to go for a “mental de­tox” and post-trauma coun­selling ses­sion, he said, and this was the first time they had such an ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Our per­sonal space was in­vaded and we work so hard for our things. It is a pan­demic and we have a right to be an­gry. We shouldn’t have to be in a sit­u­a­tion where we have to be thank­ful that our lives were spared.”

He said the one thing he learnt from the or­deal was that life­styles needed to change and ev­ery­one needed to be more proac­tive in se­cur­ing their prop­er­ties.

“In­stall CCTV cam­eras and don’t keep too many valu­ables in the house. Se­cure your doors with what you need to, have ex­ter­nal beams, and make sure your gates can­not be de­railed. That ex­tra five to 10 sec­onds of added se­cu­rity could save your life.”

He said high-risk times for house rob­beries were nor­mally be­tween 5.30pm and 9pm when your guard was down and alarms were off.

The in­ci­dent comes a day af­ter a rob­bery in Pre­ston­dale, uMh­langa, where a mother and daugh­ter were tied up with ca­ble ties and shoved into a bed­room by three men, armed with knives.

The rob­bers had gained en­try by re­mov­ing the bur­glar guard of a bath­room win­dow and fled later in a white VW Polo which was later found aban­doned on a river bank near Black­burn Vil­lage.

SAPS spokesper­son Lieu­tenant-Colonel Thu­lani Zwane said no ar­rests had been made.

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