Just a day before Women’s Day, a 72-year-old Merebank grandmother, suffered a traumatic ordeal when she had a gun pointed to her head after four balaclava clad gunmen stormed the property and drove off with the tenant in his white BMW on Rawalpindi Road.
During the morning rush on Wednesday, the armed hijacking occurred with the abducted victim dropped off in Umlazi a short while later whilst the vehicle was also recovered in a different section.
Speaking to the Southern Star, the pensioner’s son who wished to remain anonymous, said, “My mum was at the gate as the tenants’ and my wife and daughter were exiting in separate vehicles. The masked men with firearms entered the property with one gunman going to my mum and holding a firearm to her head in a bid to silence her. Two other suspects approached the tenant in the white BMW whilst one gunman proceeded to a second tenant in a Toyota Corolla. They pushed the occupant in the BMW on to the back seat and drove off.”
“It was after the hijackers fled that my mum actually reacted to the situation. She was visibly shaken and highly traumatised. My wife and daughter were not completely aware of what had transpired as it was over within a few minutes. The tenant in the Corolla was unharmed as well. My mum alerted everyone to what had occurred. This was the first major incident of this nature to have taken place on Rawalpindi Road in quite a while. I am thankful that my mum, my family and the tenants were unharmed. It is quite fortunate that the vehicle was recovered so quickly and much thanks go out to all the stakeholders involved in the recovery of the vehicle,” said the grateful resident who is also a patroller on Rawalpindi Road.
Alpha Alarms spokesman, Seshin Govender, said, “The SAPS Tracker team was quickly on the trail of the hijacked vehicle and had followed up on information received as the vehicle had no tracking device. Police Tracker members discovered the car abandoned, locked and damaged in S-section Umlazi, with Alpha Alarms Tracker team hot on the wheels of police. The kidnapped occupant was picked up by police in a different section in Umlazi. The victim was unharmed but distressed by the series of events that occurred. All units which followed up on information and quickly disseminated the relevant details are commended as it yielded the recovery of the vehicle and the victim was found safe as well.”
Rawalpindi and Himalaya Road CPF sub-forum co-ordinator, Raven Naidoo, said, “Crime on Rawalpindi Road consists of sporadic petty thieving and this is shockingly a rare incident to have occurred on this road. We are pleased that none of the residents were harmed in any way. We have an active neighbourhood watch and patrol team out during the day and night who have apprehended suspects for various thefts. Crime has decreased due to the presence of these dedicated patrollers. I urge our team to remain consistent, I thank them for their sacrifice, and encourage other residents to join the initiative.”
Rawalpindi and Himalaya Road residents who are interested in joining the neighbourhood watch can contact Presh on 084 729 2555, Vinodh on 084 689-1611 or Raven on 083 775 7086.