Robbers work as a team

2012-11-13 00:00

A GANG of smash and grab robbers staged a simultaneous attack on five cars at the intersection of Masukwana [East] Street and Manning Avenue in rush hour yesterday morning.

Sham Govender (41) was taking his wife Vani (38) to work when they came to a stop in the heavy morning traffic. “An unknown man came to the car, and through the passenger window, which was half open, punched my wife several times and tried to rob her,” Govender told The Witness.

Govender got out of the car and tried to give chase, but had to give it up to attend to his injured wife.

“I immediately went to Mountain Rise police station to report the incident. I then went back to the scene with members of the dog unit, and the [robbers] ran into Jika Joe.

“I took my wife to the doctor. She was shaken up and had to be sedated. She also needs to see the dentist because of injuries to her teeth,” he said.

He said he saw the occupants of four other cars being robbed, and a pedestrian’s handbag snatched. He said they were fortunate that nothing was stolen from them as his wife’s chain with a religious pendant fell as the would-be robber was grabbing it.

“People need to be extra careful, especially with the festive season coming up,” said Govender.

Jakes Abdul, who runs a business nearby, said these types of attacks have become more frequent.

“It happens at least twice a week,” Abdul said. “As the people stop their cars [at the intersection], these people clout the women and rob them. It happens in slow-moving traffic. It’s even happened to taxis,” said Abdul.

What made it difficult to identify the perpetrators, he said, was that once they ran back into the informal settlement, they changed clothes.

“It has become very dangerous in this area. You need to keep your vehicle locked at all times. A lot of people are getting their cellphones stolen. You can’t catch them because they’re already gone by the time the police get here.

“We are fighting a losing battle,” he said, appealing for more policemen to patrol the street.

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