Robbers now follow you

2014-05-01 00:00

FOLLOW-HOME robbers on Tuesday dragged an Umhlanga woman and her son from their car while they were returning from a bank.

Durban North police spokesperson Lieutenant Raymond Deokaran said the mother and son bought a suitcase in the CBD and then went to alBaraka Bank to enquire about the exchange rate as they are embarking on a trip to India.

“They did not make any cash withdrawal and had not made any dollar/rand exchange. I understand that the tickets and passports have already been sorted for the trip which was scheduled for later this month. This could have been just a trip to tie up some loose ends before the flight,” said Deokaran.

The woman, whose name is known to The Witness, said. “We can only consider talking about this once arrests are made”.

Deokaran said the woman told police she was with her 26-year-old son when she pulled over near the Riverside M4 off-ramp. A blue BMW drove past and made a U-turn and blocked their way.

“Four men, two armed with pistols and the other two with what is believed to be R5 rifles jumped out of the vehicle, pointed guns at them and demanded money. It was a latest model of the BMW. The lady was dragged out of the car, was forced to the ground, her vehicle was ransacked before the gunmen sped off with the empty suitcase and keys to the woman’s Audi. She flagged down a motorist and the police were called,” said Deokaran.

He said police believed the woman had been followed from the bank and said they later discovered that the registration plates of the vehicle were fake.

He said two weeks ago a businessman was held up by two armed men who took an undisclosed amount of money which he was about to deposit at a bank on Umhlanga Ridge.

Durban North CPF chairperson Haden Searles said follow-home robberies was common in the Durban north area. “A lot of people are followed after withdrawing huge amounts of money. They got hit in front of their homes,” said Searles.

He said last year before Christmas people were hit hard, either going to the bank to make deposits or after making substantial withdrawals.

Advocate Anton Wiid, former general manager at the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) said this was a routine he termed “associated robbery”.

He could not comment on the current trend of these types of robberies.

“These criminals get inside information before they hit. They work with people from the inside, or they have spotters at targeted areas,” he said.

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said a robbery case is under investigation.

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