Heroic rescue from robbers

2009-06-10 00:00

THE quick-thinking actions of an alert neighbour saved a 64-year-old wo­man who was assaulted, throttled and robbed at knife-point by two men, who prowled into her home while she was asleep yesterday morning.

The neighbour fired warning shots when he heard pensioner, Tholsie Pillay, screaming for help after two robbers, one wielding a bushknife, broke into her house and ransacked all her rooms, packed up her groceries and linen and taking R120 of her pension money.

She is traumatised, has bruised and swollen lips and is believed to have a broken rib.

Pillay was asleep at her house at number 192 Springvale Road in Bombay Heights at 1.30 am, when she was awoken by noises coming from inside the house. “When I woke up, two men were standing beside my bed. One of them throttled me with a cloth and hit me on my mouth, face and body with his fists.”

With a bush knife in his hand, one of the men dragged Pillay out of the bed and ordered her to lie on the floor. According to Pillay, another man was busy in the other rooms on the ground floor ransacking and packing goods. A suitcase filled with linen sheets, irons and five litres of cooking oil were found in the driveway.

Scared and traumatised, the pensioner screamed for help.

One of the neighbours, who prefers to be known only as Mahem, said the sound of dogs barking woke him up. “I heard dogs barking and when I listened carefully I heard banging of doors. Shortly after that, I heard Pillay screaming for help. I opened the window and I could see they were beating her.”

Mahem reacted swiftly and called Pillay’s son and the police. “She was screaming and calling my name, then I decided to fire warning shots to scare them off.” The suspects ran away at the sound of gunfire, leaving the packed goods in the driveway. They managed to take Pillay’s cash. “I am glad that she is okay; she might have died,” said Mahem.

Police and paramedics responded swiftly, but the suspects had escaped.

Pillay was treated on the scene and her family took her away.

She was traumatised by the incident, and her family have moved her from the house following the incident. The suspects are believed to have been monitoring the house before they broke-in.

Pillay’s daughter, Shamane Gavrapersad, said her mother has been staying alone since her husband died seven years ago. “It’s people who knew she was on her own. We have always been concerned about her staying alone, even though there have been no incidents. We take this as a near-miss. For her safety and our sanity, she is better off with family.”

Police spokesman, Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram, said the suspects forced their way through the back door. It is believed they used Pillay’s garden tools to open the door.

Police have asked anyone with information to contact Detective Inspector Vusi Shabangu of the Mountain Rise Detective Service at 033 387 9600 or 083 308 0234

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
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 24.com 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.