2007-10-18 : Thugs rob commune foursome

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2007-10-18 : Thugs rob commune foursome

Postby GOSA » Tue, 2007-11-06 07:07

http://www.pretorianews.co.za/?fSection ... 415C199966

Thugs rob commune foursome
18 October 2007, 10:26

By Barry Bateman

A father desperate to come to his son's aid raced from Kempton Park to
a commune in Lynnwood Manor, beating local police to the scene of an
armed robbery.

Three knife-wielding thugs held up four people in the house in Lynburn
Road, just a few hundred metres from where Cathy Odendaal was murdered
on Tuesday.

Riaan Stander, Nathan Lucas, Yolanda Botha and JP du Preez were
surprised by the thugs early on Wednesday morning.

The suspects made off with cash, cellphones and a jewellery design
project valued at about R10 000. Botha is a jewellery design student
at the Tshwane University of Technology.

It is thought that the suspects gained entry to the property when
Lucas arrived home just after midnight.

Du Preez said the three suspects woke him up at about 12.30am by
tapping him gently on his arm. "They touched me gently; they weren't
aggressive or violent, they told me to keep quiet or they'd shoot me.

"It was like my mom waking me up, the only thing missing was the
coffee," he said.

Du Preez said the men questioned him about the other occupants of the
house before taking him to Lucas's outside room where he was already
being held.

"I think that after about 15 minutes I heard Yolanda scream. They
brought her into the room. She was freaked out."

Stander said he was woken by Botha's scream. "I ran to my door but the
suspects had locked it. I immediately called my mom, gave her my
address and told her to call the police," he said.

As Stander's mother, Gerty, called the police, his father, Riaan
senior, raced to Pretoria.

Stander said that as he put the phone away the suspects burst into the
room. "They took me to the room where Nathan, Riaan and Yolanda were."

Botha told her friends that one of the suspects tried to sexually
assault her. She apparently lashed out at him before blacking out.
When she woke up the man had a knife against her neck. She blacked out
a second time, but when she came to, the suspect was on the ground and
she had his knife in her hand.

Stander said that soon after, his father and the police arrived.

Police spokesperson Inspector Paul Ramaloko said the suspects escaped
with cash and several cellphones.

* This article was originally published on page 3 of The Pretoria News on October 18, 2007
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