Robbers pose as estate agents to gain entry

2010-01-27 00:00

JEWELLERY and two shotguns were stolen in a house robbery in Ashburton yesterday morning.

Home owner William Battershill, who lives in AP Smith Road, said the assailants arrived at his house just after 11 am and pretended to be involved in the property market.

The house is for sale and the criminals managed to convince Battershill’s domestic worker to open the door for them as they had some “important documents” pertaining to the sale of the property.

Battershill said he and his wife were at work at the time of the robbery. He was informed of the incident by his wife, who had been phoned by the domestic worker.

“My understanding is that the culprits pretended to be involved in the selling of the house and the helper let them in. They scared her a bit and used a huge hammer and a crowbar to break into the safe in the house, stealing two shotguns and jewellery,” said Battershill.

He said the police were quick to respond. Two hours after the incident the Durban police contacted Battershill, informing him that ID books belonging to his family had been found in the area.

Police spokeswoman director Phindile Radebe confirmed the incident. She said the house helper heard the gate to the property opening and, upon investigation, saw a grey car with three occupants.

“According to the statement, the men said they were looking for houses for sale. While explaining their presence they followed her into the house, where one of them produced a firearm.

“They tied her hands and legs and ransacked the house, getting away with jewellery and a loaded firearm,”said Radebe.

Radebe said she had not heard of incidents where a house advertised for sale was targeted by robbers, and that she will check if there have been cases of a similar nature.

She said she had not been informed of the recovery of identity documents by the Durban police, and added that a case of house robbery is under investigation.

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