Man in Hillcrest abandons home after being targeted by robbers

2014-10-18 00:00

MATTHEW Bennett has abandoned his home in an upmarket KwaZulu-Natal suburb because he has lost faith that police can stop robbers who have targeted the house.

Having been “cleaned out” in September while he slept, robbers returned to his house last month — driving his car — and cleaned it out again.

This after Bennett was savagely beaten by armed robbers at a Hillcrest restaurant in February, targeted by thieves twice in April, and hounded off the road by a road-rage driver in June.

He claimed he had received “no joy” from police in any of these cases.

And he said the police docket for an earlier armed robbery at the Bennett home, where his sister was dragged around by her hair, had been lost.

In a complaint letter that forms part of a dossier on Hillcrest police station being sent to Parliament, his mother, Margot Bennett, wrote: “SAPS lost our docket. When I made a fuss, [police] told me ‘no one was injured and you are insured, so just go home’. This is one family with all these incidents with a 100% failure rate on the part of the SAPS.”

The latest SAPS annual report shows that, including thefts, police in KZN have lost twice as many dockets as any other province in the past year. Describing yet another crime suffered by the Bennett family, in which she had chased a mugger, Margot Bennett said: “On the day of his court appearance [the suspect] tried to intimidate me, saying his friends would follow me home.

“When his case came up, the magistrate said my case was to be postponed because the suspect had not arrived! Nothing ever [happened on the case] again”.

Matthew Bennett said he had abandoned his rental deposit and moved in with his parents as the September robbers “still have my house keys, and we know they are happy to come back.

“Police say they know where the [suspects] live, but have done nothing about it so far as I know. Actually, the bad guys are known in most of these cases — I don’t understand why they don’t just go get them”.

He said he believed the road-rage attacker actually lives in his street.

Describing that incident in her report, Margot Bennett wrote: “We gave police the make, model and description of the car, and much additional info, as the driver is notorious in our road.

“We were categorically told that unless we told police where he lived or gave the numberplate, there was nothing they could do because they have too many cases.”

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