Robbers hit unit again

2014-12-19 00:00

A DUTCH visitor to South Africa suffered a traumatic start to her holiday when she, together with two local workers, were held at gunpoint at the Coastal Horse Care Unit in Cato Ridge.

Organisation chairperson Gill ­Olmesdahl said three men, two of them covering their faces with masks, stormed the building and demanded valuables on Wednesday night just before 10.30 pm.

Olmesdahl said the staff — Klaske Roskam, Ken Steyn and Vee Hayes — co-operated with the “aggressive perpetrators” who tried to tie them up and then ransacked the property.

“They pleaded with the perpetrators not to tie them up. They were then locked in the bathroom and told to stay there for 10 minutes. The robbers made off with two laptops and five cellphones belonging to the organisation and staff respectively,” she said.

Olmesdahl, who lives on the property, said the victims broke the bathroom window and exited.

Among the valuables stolen, are a laptop, camera and jewellery belonging to Roskam, worth about R60 000. She said the total amount of the stolen items is roughly R120 000.

“After the attackers left, the employees pressed the panic button. I heard screams and I went there with my ­husband but the perpetrators had ­already gone.

“They said the men threatened to shoot and kill them.”

Olmesdahl said they are currently undergoing extensive counselling.

This is the second time the ­non-profit organisation has been hit by robbers in a space of seven weeks.

Last month, criminals broke into the property and made off with five cellphones, a laptop, cameras and other valuable belongings.

Olmesdahl said it appears they are being targeted and they will need stricter security.

“But we have to raise funds to improve our security as we rely on donations. We are very much concerned,” she said.

Police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane confirmed the incident and said no injuries were reported and no shots were fired during the attack.

He said Camperdown police are investigating a case of house robbery and no arrests had been made.


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