The thugs who invade SA homes

By admin
28 April 2010

They’re among the most violent criminals in South Africa and have no qualms about murder, torture or rape. Almost two-thirds of them assault their victims when they force their way into residential homes - and it has become one of our biggest crime problems.

These vicious young thugs plan their hits with military precision. They sometimes watch their victims for weeks before they strike and then it’s usually when least expected.

What you own and whether you’re an “easy target” determine whether you will ultimately become one of their victims. Race, area and gender aren’t major factors. It’s all about money.

They’re mostly South Africans and often live only 30 minutes’ drive from you.

These are some of the findings in a new book in which house robbers reveal what you must do if you want to survive or thwart an invasion.

During his research for Home Invasion: Robbers Disclose What You Should Know, Dr Rudolph Zinn talked to among others 30 criminals doing time for house robbery invasions.

His most shocking finding is perhaps this: the average home invader is in his twenties but by the time of his arrest had already committed more than 100 crimes.

The degree of violence that emerged in his interviews with convicted house robbers was deeply disturbing, Dr Zinn says.

Another thing that particularly upset Dr Zinn, a former detective and lecturer in police science, was that house robbers who were prone to torture sometimes deliberately targeted women and children.

“Their excuse was while men might try to resist torture, targeting women and kids meant they could be sure all the valuables in the house would be pointed out to them.”

Dr Zinn is also deeply disturbed by house robbers’ “total clinical apathy about their victims’ fates”. Only in jail do they begin to think about what they have done to others.

“This group of criminals is possibly the most violent I have ever come across,” the Gauteng-based specialist says bluntly.

Dr Zinn also names a few tips listed by robbers on keeping yourself safe when confronted by intruders, such as avoiding eye contact with the criminals, keeping your hands visible and surrendering completely.

* Get the latest issue of YOU (3 June 2010) to find out what the robbers say about keeping you and you family safe and how to prevent yourself from becoming a target.

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