Stolen iPhone torpedoes Westville robbery gang

2016-02-23 15:56

Durban - A stolen iPhone, which was silently emitting a tracking signal, proved to be the undoing of a gang of prolific Westville house robbers, apparently leaving one of them dead on Tuesday morning.

The gang was scuppered just hours after they had held a homeowner, a guest and tenant hostage for hours.

After police traced the stolen iPhone using its GPS, a shootout ensued, in which one of the alleged robbers was shot and killed in KwaDabeka.

Police sources, who could not be named as they are not authorised to speak to the press, confirmed that one of the gang had been killed.

They added that officers had found a cache of stolen items worth hundreds of thousands of rands, which could be linked to a string of robberies and home invasions in the city’s western suburbs.

In conflict with reports from police sources, police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said no arrests had been made and that no one had been injured.

He did confirm that the robbery had taken place. 

Homeowner Gary Jackman told News24 that in the early hours of Monday he had awoken to two silhouetted figures standing in his doorway, with pistols trained on him as he lay in bed.

“I had two guys standing at my door pointing guns at me. They were wearing ski masks and gloves and they told me that if I moved they would kill me,” he said.  

“They told me to put my hands up and then they asked where everything of value was an whether or not we had a safe. I didn’t want to make waves and I told them exactly what they wanted to know,” he said.

He said that while guns were trained on him, the guest and tenant in the house were brought into his room and bound.

“Just after 5am we heard the two cars start and they pushed off after they loaded them full of stuff. We managed to cut ourselves free a couple of minutes after they left.

"They were incredibly calm because we were calm and they were very direct with us. Apart from at the beginning where they seemed nervous but then they calmed down,” Jackman said.  

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