6 families held up during braai in Johannesburg

By admin
22 June 2015

Gauteng police are investigating after 29 people, including 17 children, were attacked by three robbers during a braai at a house in Linden, Johannesburg at the weekend.

The incident occurred on Saturday, Netwerk24 reported. The robbers took cellphones, laptops and jewellery.

CCTV cameras at the family’s home showed footage of the three balaclava-wearing men with 9mm firearms getting out of a white Toyota Avanza and running in through the gate.

“The men slipped in when my oldest son closed the electric gate behind some guests,” said Riana Somsen on Sunday. “The three men held up three guests in the driveway who had just arrived.”

Her 8-year-old son was also one of those made to lie flat on the ground. Most guests had no idea what was going on in the driveway.

‘It felt like time was standing still’

“Myself and a friend were in the room near the front door. When I turned around, I looked right into the barrel of the robber’s gun.

“It felt as if time was standing still. He looked for the safe and money. We had to lie on the ground. I told him he should go look in another room.

“When he left the room, I hit the panic button.”

Her children and husband were with other guests at the fire. “I just thought of them.”

Minutes later, Riana heard a car outside. It was a friend who had turned around when she saw people lying in the driveway.

Riana’s husband, Hans, a former neighbourhood watch member, said the robbers took his gun.

“When the robber came in screaming, I put my hand on my gun. He put his gun to my head and said I shouldn’t do it. He took my gun and hit me on the head.

“I was told to lie on the ground. I lay over my daughter,” he said.

Increase in Linden robberies

Some of the children sobbed as they were forced to lie on the ground, Riana said.

Although no one was physically injured, everyone was traumatised, said Hans. “We have to send our three children to a counsellor.”

Captain Alex Vermaak from the Linden police station said they have their hands full because house robberies in the area have increased significantly since March.

“Since March, police have been battling to keep up with the increase in armed robberies. It’s a concern for the police. We planned to track down the suspects, but it looks as if it’s not working.

“We track the robbers down and put them behind bars but there’s always another group that pops up.”


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