Suspects brazenly storm businesman's home

2015-07-23 11:29

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Johannesburg - A suspect was killed and another injured in a shoot-out during a robbery at the house of a well-known businessman in Roshnee, Vereeniging, early on Thursday morning.

Roshnee Community Policing Forum (CPF) chairperson Imraan Badat told News24 from the scene that the group forced its way through several layers of security before waking up the family's son and tying him up.

They cut an electric fence at the home of the car accessories specialist, jumped over the wall, broke a security gate and entered via sliding doors into the living room.

The robbers went up the steps of the double-storey house and woke up the 26-year-old son in his bedroom before tying him up. They demanded money and jewellery.

Panic message

The young man's father woke up in his room two doors away to noises in the house, and saw lights flashing on his alarm system.

''In our area we have a panic button linked to our cellphones and we dial and it sends a panic message,'' Badat explained.

''At 04:01 I got the message and called him but I got no response.''

Badat, who is also part of the Roshnee Neighbourhood Watch, sent out a response vehicle and sped to the scene himself, as well as calling the family's in-laws who lived across the road.

''Then we heard a shooting inside the house,'' said Badat.

The father screamed to the people rushing to help that the suspects were running through the back and Badat, and other neighbourhood watch, CPF members and police fanned out in the immediate surrounds to catch the robbers.

''They went around the corner and they saw us. They pulled out a gun and shot towards us,'' he continued.

One was seen running into a schoolyard and another into a veld, but four got away.

Returned fire

Badat said one of the robbers died on the scene, and another is believed to have been hit, but managed to get away.

The son was freed, and apart from the trauma to the family, which included the mother and daughter, nobody else was injured.

It emerged later that the shots heard inside the house was a confrontation between the robbers and the businessman.

''They had turned around and had seen him and shot at him, and he returned fire,'' said Badat.

The neighbourhood took action about six years ago, organising itself into an association to address as many as 40 incidents of crime a month.

''We said we have to do something about this,'' he said.

Working with other police reservists such as himself, and the residents, they fenced off their 3km community with pallisade, installed about 56 cameras, got seven vehicles, and they patrol the area in shifts with 25 staffers.

The community contributes R150 a month each for the service without an alarm, and R300 a month with an alarm.

This brought crime down to zero incidents, said Badat, but in the past few weeks there has been a sudden resurgence. There were thefts out of motor vehicles, housebreaking, and about two weeks ago, a similar robbery had occurred, also with five people breaking into a house.

Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Katlego Mogale said a manhunt had been launched for the robbers. The police had recovered an unlicensed revolver, 9mm magazine, a laptop, and a bag with some of the implements used to break into the property and the house.

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega is expected to brief the media on recent crime statistics for Gauteng, later on Thursday.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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