Durban residents have been warned to alert their domestic workers to be vigilant, after a gang of armed robbers posing as electricity meter readers assaulted an Essenwood domestic worker during a home invasion on Thursday, 12 September.

Blue Security community and media liaison officer, Andreas Mathios said the gang of three armed robbers, held up and assaulted a domestic worker in Essenwood, Berea, after she opened the gate to let them into the property. “The gang was armed with firearms and wearing blue overalls. They rang the intercom and told the domestic worker that they were from the Electricity Department and had come to read the meter. The domestic worker complied and the gang stormed into the house and held her up at gunpoint,” Mathios said.

“They assaulted the domestic worker, who sustained injuries to her face, and tied her up and forced her under a couch in the lounge. The suspects then ransacked the house and fled with a television and a laptop,” he said. Mathios said concerned neighbours heard the domestic worker screaming and pressed their panic button, alerting the firm’s armed response officer to the scene. The suspects fled the scene in a white Toyota Hilux.

Mathios advised residents to warn their domestic workers not to allow anyone onto the premises during the day without first obtaining permission from their employers and identifying the visitors. “It’s important to regularly remind domestic staff, both domestic workers and gardeners, as well as your children and teenagers not to open the gate to let anyone in without first contacting you and verifying their identification. ” said Mathios

Mathios further added that electricity meter readings can also be provided telephonically to the municipality on a monthly basis, “Which is another option to consider in order to reduce the risk of inadvertently allowing impostors on the property. ” said Mathios.