‘Coffee date’ leads to arrest

2018-10-02 06:01

A planned coffee date, set up by Manenberg police, led to the arrest of a 35-year-old woman, wanted for several cases of house robbery.

Anne Demas was sentenced to 15 years in jail after being found guilty at the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court last Wednesday.

Captain Ian Bennett, spokesperson for Manenberg Police Station, explains that investigations into several cases of house robbery led to the arrest of the suspect.

“Demas was committing these robberies since 2014 using her cover as applying for a domestic worker’s job, gaining the victim’s trust and then striking when she was left alone, in full control of the house.

“When people trusted her, leaving her to look after the vulnerable, who included elderly people, she would then allow several men, including her boyfriend, to enter their houses.

“They (men) would use a great deal of violence on the elderly, threatening them with death and then ransacking the house, leaving the victims beaten and severely traumatised­.”

On Tuesday 23 August 2016, Demas was employed as a domestic worker by an 87-year-old woman living in Primrose Park.

“Demas asked if she could use the toilet on this day, and if there was an outside toilet as well. The elderly woman proceeded to show her the toilet, and when she (victim) returned, she saw two unidentified men in her home. The men threaten to cut her throat if she screamed. One man choked and assaulted her while the other tied her hands behind her back. They stole valuable items from the elderly woman which included jewellery, a TV and a microwave, before fleeing the scene.”

Demas’s arrest came only after a detective working on the case contacted her, posing as a single man looking for a relationship­.

“Our detective posed as an educator and the suspect was then coerced to meet him at a local mall, where they enjoyed coffee. Our task team was there to observe and to identify the woman, bringing the actual witness to the meeting place without being seen by the alleged suspect.

“Demas was positively identified by the victim as the domestic worker and was arrested on the spot. She was kept in custody after the arrest, with her bail being opposed­.

“Several house robberies where the domestic worker was involved were also looked into with the same method of committing crime, and showed several similarities within the cases,” adds Bennett.

Manenberg police congratulated Detective Sergeant Daryl van Noie who had received the case in 2016, and after investigation, opened a can of worms leading to the detection of similar cases in Lansdowne, Athlone and Manenberg.

The cases against the suspect’s helpers (men) are still under investigation and will conclude soon.

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