Teens robbed at gunpoint

2017-07-25 14:02
One Life Church has since hired security following this incident.

One Life Church has since hired security following this incident. (File)

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A group of youth attending a Friday night service at One Life Church in Alexandra, were left “shaken” after a robber demanded cellphones from them at gunpoint.

The robber made off with cell phones and other valuables.

The victims, aged between 14 and 18, were in the church parking lot waiting for transport home around 9 pm when they were approached by the suspect.

Rory Gibs, one of the victims, said the incident had left him completely “shaken”.

“The suspect had been watching us from far before he approached us. He greeted us and then snatched one girl’s phone and then pointed the gun at us. He told us to give him our phones. My friend threw his phone on the ground and I said I didn’t have anything.”

Gibs said the suspect then threatened to shoot him.

“He said he’s not playing, he’ll shoot me dead. He came closer, pointing the gun at me. I threw my phone at him and ran.”

Gibs said earlier that night a motorbike belonging to one of the church congregants was stolen on the property. “It was a very traumatic experience. I don’t wish it on anyone,” Gibs said.

Alexandra police spokesperson Captain Kholeka Mhlongo confirmed the incident. Mhlongo said after robbing the group, the suspect was seen driving off in a red VW Golf.

Four cellphones valued at R15 500 were taken from the victims.

One Life Church elder Brett Mouton said it was the first time they had experienced a security breach on the church property.

“We understand that the perpetrator had been robbing homes and was chased onto our property where he robbed a few of our girls opportunistically. We are very grateful that there were no injuries.”

Mouton said the church has since hired professional security guards to patrol the property during their services.

This is the latest incident to add to a spate of incidents in which churches and temples have been targeted by criminals.

Last week The Witness reported that the Northdale Siva Nyana Sabha temple on Chetty Road was burgled. Thieves allegedly made off with goods to the value of R40 000.

In June last year, thieves made off with 112-year-old brass lamp at the Khan Road temple in Raisethorpe.

In that break-in, two big brass lamps, idols and statues of Indian gods and goddesses, brass trays and a brass Aum sign were stolen.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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