Plucky old dog alerts owner about robber

2017-08-11 15:18
A 15-year-old Staffie-cross Scottie, Mac, alerted his owner Norman Gayer to an intruder who was in the house while he was outside gardening.

A 15-year-old Staffie-cross Scottie, Mac, alerted his owner Norman Gayer to an intruder who was in the house while he was outside gardening. (Ian Carbutt)

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It was thanks to the alertness of his old dog that an 81-year-old Hayfields man was able to shoot and wound an intruder trying to run away.

Norman Gayer was alone at home and attending to his garden on Thursday morning when he noticed Mac, his 15-year-old Staffie-cross Scottie, barking incessantly indoors.

“He was barking at my daughter’s bedroom door, so I tried to open it and it was locked from the inside. I went and got my firearm and went around to look through the window.”

Gayer went around the property and found an intruder trying to escape through the bedroom window by squeezing himself through the burglar guards.

“That’s when I told him ‘get out or I’m going to shoot you’. I made him lay on the ground.”

Gayer said the intruder then tried to run off. “So I shot low and hit him. At my age, I was not going to try to take him on — he’s a lot fitter than me.”

He then asked a neighbour who came to investigate the noise to phone the police.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Mtokozisi Ngobese said the suspect, who was in his mid-20s, had sustained a wound on the buttocks.

He said police found cash, a cell phone and a nail clipper on the perpetrator.

Ngobese said Gayer will not be charged for shooting the intruder because he was a licence-holder and was exercising self-defence as he was under attack in his home.

Police are investigating a case of theft, he confirmed.

Gayer told The Witness that this was the third time his home, which he shares with his daughter Gail (56), had been hit in the past two months.

“Normally I’m out on business, so that’s when it happens. They’ve taken the TV, a computer and an iPad.”

Gayer suspected the intruder entered his home via a nature conservancy behind the property and then through a door at the back.

“When I’m home, I lock all the doors, but you don’t ever worry about the back yard.”

He said he would not have known about the intruder had it not been for his dog.

“He had been barking and looking very agitated. If it wasn’t for him, this guy [the intruder] could have taken me out. I didn’t even know he was in the house.

“Mac may be 15 years old, but he’s a wide-awake old dog,” Gayer said.

The Witness has reported on crimes against the elderly recently.

In June, an 89-year-old woman was tied up and left overnight when her Scottsville home was burgled.

Similarly, in May an elderly Chase Valley man and his domestic worker were tied up by armed men in a robbery.

CEO of the Association of the Aged, Femada Shamam, advised old people to connect with their community to have people to contact during emergencies. “Allow people to help you, don’t be isolated. Keep emergency numbers — neighbours help you faster than anyone else.

“The elderly are seen as people who will not fight back and easy to overpower. Also, the elderly are too trusting of people and can be exploited.”

She said the elderly should always try to have company when going out.

“Also be cautious when there are people at your gate trying to sell things or begging — they could be criminals.”

She did not believe that the elderly were particularly targeted by criminals.

“It happens but it is part of the larger problem of crime that affects everyone.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  house robberies

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