Prestbury homes hit

2016-11-11 09:37
A second house in Prestbury was broken into on Thursday. The burglars broke the lock of the door and the slam-lock gate to gain entry into the house and steal the owner’s flat-screen TV and other electronics.

A second house in Prestbury was broken into on Thursday. The burglars broke the lock of the door and the slam-lock gate to gain entry into the house and steal the owner’s flat-screen TV and other electronics. (Ian Carbutt)

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THE peace of the Prestbury area was shattered on Thursday after two houses were burgled within the space of two hours in broad daylight.

Following the spate of house robberies in Hilton and Old Howick Road over the past few weeks, Pietermaritzburg residents have reportedly scrambled to their local security stores in an effort to make their homes into fortresses that will keep brazen criminals from entering their properties.

On Thursday, however, two homes in Prestbury, a few kilometres apart, were broken into within the space of just two hours.

Safiyyah Khan (17) had returned home from writing her Grade 11 Afrikaans exam and was relaxing at home when she heard the gate rattle.

Safiyyah said she was sitting in her room, watching TV and although she heard the gate clang, she first thought it was the wind.

She said she then heard a noise at the front door but thought it was the family’s domestic worker arriving at the house and continued to watch TV.

“All of a sudden, this man opened my bedroom door,” said Safiyyah. “He was very tall and was wearing a blue cap, pulled down over his eyes.

“He saw me sitting on the bed, and just closed the door and left.

“He was very casual and very calm, but I was in shock. I just froze …”

Safiyyah said she immediately called her mother, who was at work, and then grabbed a knife from the kitchen and locked herself in the room.

Safiyyah’s mother, Soraya, said got the “fright” of her “life” when her daughter called and said there was a man inside the house.

“I could not believe it. There is nothing more devastating than hearing that your child could be in danger,” said Soraya.

She said the police had been “excellent” and responded immediately with forensic specialists who took fingerprints from the scene.

In an incident an hour earlier, another Prestbury resident’s home was broken into.

Eric Majozi said he was at work when his security company called to let him know the alarm had been set off.

“I asked them to go and have a look and, at 1 pm, they called back and told me my house had been broken into,” said Majozi.

“They tried to get in through the front door. They broke the lock and the gate but could not get through the door so they went around to the back of the house.”

Majozi said it appeared that the men set off one of the alarm beams in the garden before breaking the back door, stealing his flat-screen television, two cellphones and fleeing the scene within minutes, before police arrived.

“I felt that I had all the security measures in place but they still broke in. What else are we supposed to do to feel safe around here?” he asked.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese said it was thought that the man who entered the Khans’ home also broke into Majozi’s house.

He said police were searching for the man on the railway tracks at the time of going to print on Thursday afternoon.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  house robberies

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