Robber tricked into pressing panic button

2014-02-28 11:39


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Thobani Ngqulunga, The Witness

Durban - Being a seasoned trauma surgeon helped Dr Daniel den Hollander, 56, remain so calm during a farm robbery on Wednesday night, that he craftily tricked his attackers into pressing the panic button to alert help themselves.

Den Hollander, a trauma surgeon at Chief Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban, was accosted by unknown men who held him up at gunpoint and robbed him as he arrived home in Camperdown.

Incidents like this are becoming a regular occurrence in the area following a spate of farm attacks in recent weeks by the “sticky tape” gang.

'I was too busy surviving'

Den Hollander said he was waiting for his electric gate to open when he was accosted by five men, three carrying firearms. They broke his driver’s side window before dragging him out.

“I was not scared because I was too busy surviving and I guess it is because I deal with a lot of traumatic situations in my line of work so I have learnt to remain calm under stress,” he said.

Den Hollander said he did not press the panic button himself but instead he deliberately told one of the suspects to press it, tricking him into thinking it was a button to deactivate the alarm.

“When I think about it now I realise it was a stupid thing to do and I would not advise people to do it because those people could have killed me,” said Den Hollander.

He said he was grateful to his neighbours, security and police for the rapid response and support.

Robbers fled

Divisional manager for Specialised Security Services, Neville Mipping, said Den Hollander fell and sustained a cut on his mouth when the attackers forcibly removed him from the vehicle.

“They tied him up with his belt and took R1 500 from his wallet and a cellphone before forcing him to open up the house, which they then ransacked before taking a flatscreen TV, bottles of alcohol and toolboxes,” he said.

Mipping said their members responded before the suspects fled with the items taken from the house.

“Our armed response found the stolen possessions next to the electric fence and police members of the dog unit tried to track the suspects down but were unable to find them in the bush after they had fled on foot,” said Mipping.

Provincial police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said Camperdown police are investigating a case of house robbery and no arrests have been made.

Koos Marais of the KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union’s Security Desk said they were most concerned at the news of another attack in that area, and speculated that it could be the same gang involved.

He once again called on police to step up their visibility in rural areas.

Read more on:    durban  |  pietermaritzburg  |  farm attacks

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

  • Thursday Langa - 06:21 AM
    Road name: N2 Inbound
    DELAYS between Duinefontein Road and the Bhunga Avenue exit
  • Thursday Delft - 06:17 AM
    Road name: Hindle Road Westbound
    DELAYS approaching the R300 Highway
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9790

Bold Design The BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone combines the iconic BlackBerry...

From R2979.00

I'm shopping for:


You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.