Jail time for train robber

Colonel Shawn van Wyk, the station commander for Lansdowne Police Station, congratulates Detective Warrant Officer Gregory Grey on the arrest of the suspect.PHOTO: AISHAH CASSIEM
Colonel Shawn van Wyk, the station commander for Lansdowne Police Station, congratulates Detective Warrant Officer Gregory Grey on the arrest of the suspect.PHOTO: AISHAH CASSIEM

A Hanover Park resident was sentenced to three years behind bars for robbing a 60-year-old man in a train to Crawford Railway Station in October last year.

Walled Saunders (23) heard his verdict in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court last week for committing the common robbery­.

According to the police who investigated the case, the victim was travelling by train when the accused approached him with demands.

The suspect threatened to shoot the elderly man if he did not hand over his cellphone and cash.

“The suspect never pointed a firearm at the man, nor did the victim see any firearm, and in this case refused to hand over the cellphone. The accused then demanded money and the victim gave him R200 in cash.

“When the train stopped at Crawford Railway Station, where both the victim and accused climbed off, the accused again threatened the man to not report to security or else he would be harmed.

“The victim then proceeded to the security to report the robbery. The accused ran away, but was caught shortly and taken in by Lansdowne police,” explains Sergeant Nkululeko Mnyaka, spokesperson for Lansdowne Police Station.

Detective Warrant Officer Gregory Grey worked on the case since the apprehension of the suspect, collecting evidence from witnesses to ensure the accused faced the full might of the law.

“The case took a bit long because the suspect failed to appear in court since his arrest last year. He had also gone into hiding, moving addresses, where police were searching for him throughout the period. It is believed that he moved to Mitchell’s Plain were he continued his crime,” explains Grey.

“But we managed to track him down, when he appeared for another robbery case in the Mitchell’s Plain court where he was only given a R5000 fine. We linked his identity on the system and took further steps to arrest him for this case. He was then sentenced from there to three years in jail.”

Colonel Shawn van Wyk, the station commander for Lansdowne Police Station, adds: “This was a cowardly act done by the suspect to a senior citizen of this community. Youth should have great respect for our elders and in this case, the young suspect rather committed this crime just for a cellphone and cash.”

He warns would be robbers, especially the youth, that robbery is being taken seriously and the courts are giving lengthy jail time for the crime. “This is three years of this suspect’s life that are being wasted in jail. Please stay away from robbery,” he pleaded.

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