A young boy was held at gunpoint while the rest of his family was forced to watch his ordeal during a violent home invasion in Seaview, south of Durban on Saturday night.
This incident happens as a high level government meeting will focus on crime in the province on Tuesday (see below).
Andreas Mathios, community and media liaison officer for Blue Security, said the incident was one of a number of armed robberies in the greater Durban area over the weekend.
Mathios said Blue Security raced to the property in response to a panic activation received from the Seaview home at around 8.30 pm, but the robbers had already fled the scene.
When they got there, they were told that three men armed with guns had gained entry to the house by jumping over the front fence and kicking the front door open.
Mathios said the men entered the lounge and held the child, who had been watching TV, at gunpoint.
“The men continued to threaten the rest of the family by holding the child at gunpoint while ransacking the house,” he said.
Mathios said the men fled in a hatchback vehicle taking one flatscreen TV and one Xbox with them. No injuries were reported, and no shots were fired.
Crisis care was arranged for the family.
Bellair police attended the scene and investigations are continuing, said Mathios.
In a similar home invasion in Wyebank on Saturday afternoon, three children were forced to sit in the lounge by armed robbers while the gang ransacked the home.
Mathios said Blue Security rushed to the house after a cellphone panic was activated. He said they were told that an adult had been in the shower and the children were watching TV in the lounge when the incident happened.
“… four armed men had jumped over the low front wall, forced open the kitchen gate and entered the house.
“The family members were warned not to scream and threatened at gunpoint to remain in the lounge while the gang members searched the house for valuables,” said Mathios.
“Eyewitness accounts reported seeing the suspects flee in an awaiting white VW Polo, taking two flatscreen TVs, one cellphone and a gate remote with them,” he said.
He said no shots were fire in this incident either and no one was injured.
In one of three armed robberies at businesses at the weekend, Mathios said four people entered a petrol-station shop in Chatsworth and held up the cashier and delivery employees in the early hours of Saturday morning.
“The armed gang committed the robbery whilst a bread delivery to the shop was in progress,” he said.
Cash and cigarettes were stolen before the gang fled in a white Suzuki vehicle.
Mathios said no shots were fired and no one was injured during the incident. He said police are investigating the incident.
In another incident, on Saturday afternoon, Blue Security responded to a panic activation at a clothing business in Stamford Hill Road in Morningside.
“On arrival it was reported that three men, one of whom was armed, had entered the premises and held up the staff and the on-duty security.”
An undisclosed number of branded jeans and T-shirts were stolen before the gang fled in a getaway vehicle. Members of Durban Central police attended the scene and are investigating the matter, said Mathios.
Shots were fired in an armed robbery which happened on Sunday morning in Randles Road, Overport.
Mathios said when Blue Security arrived after an alarm was activated, they noticed people loading alcohol into a VW Polo and a Toyota Etios.
“When the suspects spotted the armed-response units they opened fire on the officers and an exchange of gunfire ensued,” he said.
“It was later established that the suspects gained entry to the premises by smashing the glass of the front door,” said Mathios.
The suspected criminals fled the scene and police are currently investigating the incident, said Mathios.
Meanwhile, the KwaZulu-Natal Executive Council chaired by Premier Sihle Zikalala will on Wednesday convene a special meeting to focus on issues of crime in certain parts of the province.
Minister of Police General Bheki Cele and the SAPS management will join the meeting too.