Woman (81) fights off robbers

2010-08-19 00:00

AN 81-year-old Cato Ridge businesswoman has survived her fourth robbery after four young men pressed a pistol against her head before they hijacked her vehicle and stole important documents yesterday morning.

Maureen Wareing, who owns the Alby Wareing’s Log Cabin shopping centre in Cato Ridge outside Pietermaritzburg, said the incident reminded her of another 10 years ago when a bullet skinned her head during a robbery.

She said she and her business have been victims of four robberies.

The latest incident happened when she parked her 1995 Honda Ballade near the centre. She said three men who were so young that they should have respected her as their grandmother, held her up in full view of pedestrians and motorists.

“I only saw one man with a gun. My son, who is in his 40s, told me that they all had guns,” said Wareing.

She said the “children” did not think twice before manhandling her.

“I started screaming and screaming for help. One guy kept shouting ‘keys, keys, keys!’ He pressed the gun hard against my head,” she said.

Not minding the barrel against her head, Wareing fought hard to free herself from her attackers, but as she screamed louder the gunman gagged her.

“I pulled his hand away from my mouth and continued to scream. After they took the car keys, the gunman shouted ‘bag, bag, bag!’ and took my bag,” she said.

She said people, including her son, heard her screaming and tried to run to her rescue.

“But it seems they were scared of coming closer because they would either be shot or I would be shot,” she said.

She said that before the man let go of her he instructed others to quickly get into the vehicle.

“As they drove away I shouted to them to give me my bag back,” she said.

In her bag she had her cellphone, ID, driver’s licence, cash and all her important cards.

She said that 10 years ago she was in her shop in the same centre serving customers when three men came in and pointed their firearms at her.

During the commotion one man pulled a trigger and a bullet grazed her head, she said.

“I was hospitalised and I survived by the grace of God.

“This is the fourth robbery. The last one [before yesterday’s incident] was around January this year. But I was not in the shop,” she said.

She appealed to anyone who might happen to come across the stolen Honda to contact the police.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan said police are investigating a case of armed robbery and hijacking. She appealed to anyone who can help with the investigation to contact Captain Linda Gcwabaza of Camperdown police station at 031 785 9025 or 082 459 7064.

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