Suburb joins forces against ‘stun-gun’ gang
Authorities vow to nail robbers
AUTHORITIES in the southern suburbs have joined forces against the so-called stun-gun gang believed to be behind at least eight house robberies in the region.
Residents are concer ned after a spate of house robberies in which attackers were armed with a range of weapons, including stun guns.
The incidents, dating back to February, include the stabbing of a Constantia man in the stomach during a robbery at his Charles Way home.
One of three robbers, who were dressed in unifor ms resembling those worn by Chubb security guards, was allegedly armed with a Taser.
In another incident in April, three men, one of whom was allegedly armed with a stun gun, held a Constantia family captive.
Although the Taser was not used in the robbery, police said it was the second similar incident in the immediate area in three months, after another Taser-wielding trio tied up a Constantia family of four and robbed them of their valuables.
In this case, men surprised a Constantia resident just after he pulled into his driveway in Everest Close. Two of the men had firearms, while the third carried a weapon that resembled a stun gun. The robbers made off with the family’s valuables and stole their car.
In the first reported incident in February, six men struck a Plumstead home at about 9pm, making off with the family’s SUV filled with stolen goods. At least five of the men were armed with firear ms, while one carried a stun gun.
Diep River police have identified at least eight similar incidents in the area.
Kirstenhoff Community Forum chairman Geoff Fox, said: “What should be known is that there is a concerted effort by all parties involved to deal with the situation because it can’t go on like this.”
The incidents were occurring every two to three weeks in different areas. However, not all the robberies involved the carrying of a Taser and no Taser had actually been used in any of the robberies so far.
Police spokesman Warrant Officer Keith Chandler said the stun-gun gang, originally called the Taser gang, had been identified after a number of ar med robberies in three sub-sections of the southern suburbs.
The only similarity between the incidents was the use of a stun gun.
“The robberies happen at night or early morning. It seems the robbers follow the victims home, but not from one particular place. We suspect they drive around before they spot a victim.”
The police could not say whether a single gang was behind the attacks.
Chandler said most of the robberies occurred in Constantia, where roads were poorly lit.
Police said their investigation was further complicated by the fact that victims gave different descriptions of the suspects, Chandler said.
BKM Watch chair man Wayne Weinmann said the robberies had been happening on an irregular basis and there was no apparent pattern to them.
“A variety of vehicles are being used. They would obviously be easier to identify if they were using the same vehicle, but there’s been no consistency.”
Weinmann said it was fortunate no one had been seriously hurt during any of the robberies.
“The best advice we can give people is to be alert for strange vehicles or strange people hanging around in their street. We’ve told people to be on the look-out and if they see something suspicious as they’re about to drive into their driveway, to drive past and only go in when they think it’s safe.”
Ward 73 councillor Carol Bew, who represents the Bergvliet, Constantia, Diep River and Plumstead area, said residents were “terribly concerned”. “But we are aware of the situation and we are watching it closely.”
She said the police, the local CPF, and the neighbourhood watch were now doing regular patrols.
There has been a reluctance to speak to the media from some authorities and community leaders in the southern suburbs.
Fox said there was concern that information leaked to the media could give the suspects infor mation that would encourage them to change their tactics.
The community was working with the police to resolve the situation.