Burglars held after chase

2016-02-04 10:45
Berg Protection Service’s Riaan du Preez gives a thumbs up after arresting two suspected burglars in Howick.

Berg Protection Service’s Riaan du Preez gives a thumbs up after arresting two suspected burglars in Howick. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - The Howick community with a private security company helped stretch the long arm of the law to catch two burglars on Wednesday.

Gunshots echoed through the upmarket suburb of Greendale as a Berg Protection Services guard came face to face with brazen burglars on Wednesday.

The two men were caught in the act, exiting a house they had broken into, when security guard Innocent Mbambo approached the driveway about five minutes after the alarm went off.

It is believed the two men, armed with house-breaking implements like crowbars and hammers, launched themselves at Mbambo, striking him with their weapons.

Mbambo was quick to react after suffering minor wounds on his hands, and pulled out his pistol, firing about six shots to ward off his attackers.

The men fled on foot but the undeterred Mbambo gave chase, calling for back-up as he sped off after them in his vehicle, which the two burglars allegedly battered with their weapons.

Speaking to The Witness on Wednesday, Berg Protection Services branch security manager Riaan du Preez said he immediately took up the chase when he heard his guard had placed a distress call, thinking that he was the victim of a shooting. “I was shaking like a jackhammer because my adrenaline was pumping so much,” Du Preez said.

While hurtling towards the house, Du Preez was flagged down by a good Samaritan roadside vendor. The man pointed out where the burglars were hiding in the nearby bushes.

Du Preez, with the help of his guards, members of the Howick traffic department and two local businessmen who had joined the hunt for the burglars, tracked and arrested the pair.

The arrest was made about 10 minutes after the alarm was activated within 500 metres of the targeted house.

However, two accomplices who were waiting nearby in what is believed to be an Audi, managed to escape with stolen goods from the house.

The homeowner, Esther Crous, said she left home to go to a mall 20 minutes before she received a call saying her house had been burgled.

Crous said it appears the burglars took the driveway gate off the railings and smashed through the front door and the security gate that protects it. “They [the burglars] stole our TV and speakers,” she said.

“I want to thank Berg Security, the police and everyone who was involved for the outstanding job and for being so helpful.”

The roadside vendor who flagged down Du Preez was also given a R200 reward by the security company for his assistance.

• amil.umraw@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  burglary

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