Fleeing robbers jump off cliff
Ingrid Oellermann, The Witness
Pietermaritzburg - Three alleged housebreakers and robbers lay at the bottom of Kloof gorge for several hours with serious injuries before help arrived in the form of a police helicopter, after they plunged over the cliff edge in darkness whilst fleeing a crime scene.
Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said members of the police dog unit who initially responded to the report of a house robbery at Kloof during the early hours of Saturday searched in vain for the gang.
“It was only the following morning that somebody spotted a person lying at the bottom of the gorge and a rescue party was launched,” he said.
Naicker said police found three men, all with serious injuries, lying at the bottom of the gorge. They were airlifted out by police helicopter.
Several items of property stolen during the robbery were also recovered and identified by the homeowner, he said. The name of the robbery victim was not released by police, apparently at his request.
Naicker said the 56-year-old victim was woken at about 03:00 by intruders in his home in Quinton Smythe Road in Kloof, one of whom threatened him with a screwdriver.
“He only saw one person, but there must have been others in the house.
“After they fled with a variety of goods the complainant called the police and members of the dog unit arrived with their dogs to search for the perpetrators. Obviously no one thought they would have jumped over the cliff,” he said.
Netcare 911 spokesperson Jeff Wicks said the men tumbled down a steep embankment for about 250m, suffering serious fractures, lacerations and abrasions, as well as possible spinal trauma.