Robbery victim hails cops

2017-08-25 14:19
Clarendon resident Carissa Harty has praised police for their quick response and their supportive attitude after she was bound and gagged at her home during a robbery on Tuesday.

Clarendon resident Carissa Harty has praised police for their quick response and their supportive attitude after she was bound and gagged at her home during a robbery on Tuesday. (Ian Carbutt)

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A Clarendon woman who was bound and gagged during a house robbery on Tuesday has praised local police for their quick response and “amazing” support.

She calmed the “agitated, jumpy and nervous” intruder down to the point where he gave her water when she asked him for some while she was tied up.

Carissa Harty was running a bath for herself on Tuesday afternoon when a young man in “smart clothes” walked into her flat holding a knife.

Harty said she was sitting on the edge of the bath when a man walked in, holding up a knife as he approached her.

She said she screamed when she first saw him before he told her to be quiet.

“He held his finger to his lips and said ‘shhhh’ and held a knife to my neck,” said Harty.

“He unravelled some rope and tied up my hands and feet and made me sit on the bed.

“He told me to keep quiet or he would hurt me,” she said.

Harty said the man initially seemed “jumpy and agitated” and that he smelled of alcohol.

“I just started talking to him. I don’t even remember everything I said but I was trying to talk him down.

“I kept calm and kept breathing deeply because I could see he was very nervous and knew if I started panicking, he would become even more agitated.”

Harty said she just wanted the man to leave and told him to take her wallet and go.

“All I knew was that I had to keep him calm and stay calm myself. I spoke to him the entire time and I made sure I spoke to him softly.

“At one point I asked him for some water because I was thirsty and because my hands were tied he got a glass and lifted it so I could drink.”

She said the whole ordeal lasted over an hour and just before he left, he gagged her.

Harty said the man left the house with her laptop, money and her cellphone.

“I stayed on the bed because after he left, he kept popping back in to make sure I was still tied up.”

She said the man stole her car, which was recovered by police on Wednesday.

Once the man left, she untied herself and went to tell her landlady, who immediately called police.

“The police were here within five minutes. They were so fantastic.

“Clarendon CPF chair Rowan White was there, and Magma and there were so many police officers,” she said.

Harty said she wanted to thank White and Magma, and especially the police officers.

“I want to thank Captain Bashi Thaver and Warrant Officer Pillay from Prestbury police station as well as Warrant Officer Wayne King, Sergeant Maharaj, Constable Padayachee, Constable Francis, Warrant Officer Ramarak and Warrant Officer Rose Kleinhans.

“They were so amazing and they have been so supportive.

“They have come to see me every day since the incident.”

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese said police were investigating a case of house robbery and car theft and that due to positive DNA left at the scene, an arrest was imminent.

He added that Harty’s praise was proof that the city’s police officers strived to combat crime in the area and would continue to do so.

Harty’s landlady, who would not be named, said that people gave the police “so much flak”.

“They were fantastic. They were so efficient and supportive and I cannot tell you enough how impressed I am with them,” she said.

Read more on:    crime  |  pietermaritzburg  |  house robberies

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