WhatsApp message sees robbers arrested in a flash

2016-09-14 09:41
Some of the men arrested while attempting to break into house in Orient Heights on Monday night.

Some of the men arrested while attempting to break into house in Orient Heights on Monday night. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - A quick response from police and a little help from technology led to four housebreakers being arrested while trying to enter a Pietermaritzburg home this week.

Residents of the Orient Heights home had sent a distress message on a WhatsApp group, pleading for help while housebreakers were trying to get into the house. Neighbours and the police responded within five minutes, catching the men as they tried to flee the property.

Speaking to The Witness after her ordeal, Trichy Road resident Patsy Naidoo said she and her husband Dev — the parents of road-rage shooting victim Kavlin Naidoo — were in bed trying to fall asleep when the incident occurred.

“We were battling to fall asleep because Kavlin’s shooter’s trial is coming up. We got to bed at about 10pm and it was just before 11pm, after I had just dozed off, that I was awoken by noises,” Naidoo said.

She said the sounds came from the upper floor where her landlords live.

“It sounded like the gate was being lifted and we could hear a lot of shuffling and rummaging,” Naidoo said.

Her husband immediately called a relative who works closely with the police, while Naidoo sent a distress message on a WhatsApp community group she is enlisted in.

“Help. Break in. 8 [Trichy]. Upstairs,” the message read.

Within five minutes, a pair of headlights could be seen on the road. A friend of the couple who lives nearby had read the message and rushed to the house.

Seconds later, blue lights belonging to members of the Combined Action Team (CAT) and K9 unit were flashing outside the house.

The four men who were trying to gain entry through a door on the first-floor balcony immediately started to scatter in different directions. One of the men leapt from the balcony to the driveway below.

A police dog tackled the man, and the search began for his accomplices.

According to a police source, the three alleged accomplices were rounded up within an hour.

“One of the men was hiding in a neighbouring property and the others were in the area,” the source said.

Naidoo commended the police and members of the community for their speedy response.

“It was good to see everyone standing together against crime. This is the only way we can deter criminals,” she said.

• The trial of Sergeant Thobelani Khuzwayo, who allegedly shot and killed Kavlin Naidoo during a road-rage incident in 2014, resumes later this month.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  social networks  |  crime

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