Burglars shoot at family

2016-11-28 10:48
The bullet hole left behind after burglars were interrupted by the family whose house they were in the middle of stealing from. One of the burglars fired his gun at the family's car before the five men loaded the car with the family's belongings and sped off.

The bullet hole left behind after burglars were interrupted by the family whose house they were in the middle of stealing from. One of the burglars fired his gun at the family's car before the five men loaded the car with the family's belongings and sped off. (Supplied)

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A Hayfields couple are reeling after a gang of men who they believe to be one of the notorious five-minute gangs terrorising the city, opened fire on their car as they returned home on Sunday.

The traumatised resident and mother of two, who asked not to be named, said she and her husband, her six-year-old daughter and nine-year-old son were returning from a day spent at the Epworth Christmas Fair in the middle of the day when they stumbled upon five men who were ransacking their house.

“As we neared our house, we saw a silver car reverse-parked in our driveway,” said the owner.

“The driver saw us and pulled out of the driveway but then parked in front of our house. I started to get out of the car but I saw our front gate and door were open. Then four men came running out of our house.”

She said she saw one of the men pull something out from his jacket and went “cold” when she realised it was a gun. “I shouted that he had a gun and told my kids to get down but as I said it, he fired a shot.”

She said she was still halfway out the car when her husband pulled away but jumped in and once she was inside the car, she turned around to check on her children.

“My stomach just dropped. My son wasn’t in the car. I looked out the back window and he was standing in the driveway as the four men were running out.”

Relaying the story to The Witness on Sunday, the trembling woman said: “I started shouting for my son. I don’t remember if the car was still moving or not but I jumped out of the car and started running toward him.

“I didn’t even think that the men might believe I was running towards them and that they might shoot me. I just knew I needed to get my son. I didn’t know what would happen to him. I thought they might put him in their car or hurt him,” said the woman, in tears.

“They could take whatever they wanted, just don’t hurt my children,” she said.

The woman said when she grabbed her son, she rushed him to the car and saw the men finish loading their vehicle with her and her family’s belongings.

“They packed the car and then they sped off and they were gone.”

She said, looking back at the incident, she had “no idea” how the shot the robber fired missed the car.

“It just missed us. It hit the wall right behind us and left a huge dent in the neighbour’s wall.

“These men knew what they wanted and were so quick.

“It doesn’t matter if you have alarms and huge gates or six boerbuls. They will find a way to get in.”

The woman’s parents, who stay on the property in a granny flat, had been out in town when they received a call from their son-in-law.

“He told us they had shot at them. We raced home. I went through so many red lights to get to them,” the woman’s father said.

He added that the burglars had taken the safe, TV, two laptops, tablets, two cellphones, a Playstation, expensive bottles of perfume and all his son-in-law’s underwear.

The woman said there had been six robberies and burglaries in their road and cul-de-sac next to them in the past six months.

“I would say it was the five-minute gang. The way they got into the house and the whole way it all played out makes me think it was them.”

She said her children were shaken but she was just thankful they had not been hurt.

A neighbour of the targeted house, who would not be named, said the men had tried to break into his home a few weeks ago, and three weeks ago had broken into another neighbour’s house despite that home having 12 cameras, motion beams and an alarm.

He said he saw the gang coming out of his neighbour’s home and when the men saw him, they pointed their guns at him before he quickly ducked out of view.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese said the incident appeared to be the work of opportunistic criminals and that the five-minute gang operated in Hilton, Athlone and the Townhill area.

He said there had been no other incidents of “that kind” in the Hayfields road where the house was burgled and said that the five-minute-gang did not hurt or confront those whose houses they broke into.

He said the matter was being investigated.

Read more on:    five minute gang  |  pietermaritzburg  |  house robberies

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