2007-01-18 : Shooting robber dead a breakthrough

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2007-01-18 : Shooting robber dead a breakthrough

Postby GOSA » Fri, 2007-01-19 11:53


Shooting robber dead a breakthrough

January 18 2007 at 04:09PM

By Graeme Hosken and Barry Bateman

Police claim to have made a breakthrough in their investigation into a spate of violent robberies in the east of Pretoria after a robber was shot dead moments after he and three accomplices held up a family in Wingate Park.

On Tuesday night, the suspect was shot in the head as he opened fire on a neighbour while attempting to scale an adjoining property's wall.

That attack was the second in as many nights. Neighbour Gert de Bruin said the same men attempted a robbery at their home the previous night. "Four armed men held my sister's boyfriend at gunpoint in the garden. My sister saw it and sounded the alarm. My father and I ran outside and the men fled."

De Bruin identified the suspects involved in Tuesday night's attack as the same men from the previous night. On his lawyer's advice, he was unable to provide any details regarding the shooting of the suspect. The family refused to speak to the Pretoria News, fearing for the lives of their children.

At about 10.30pm on Tuesday the four men, armed with guns and metal rods, broke a window and surprised a family playing Scrabble in the lounge of their Ketting Street home.

They overpowered two men, forcing them, their wives and a grandmother to lie face down on the floor with three young children, police said.

The robbers threatened to kill the children, aged 20 months, five and six, if the men did not co-operate. They demanded access to a safe as well as guns, money, jewellery and cellphones.

Police said that as the robbers fled, neighbours came out, one of them armed with a 30,06 hunting rifle. When he ordered the robbers to stop, one opened fire on him. He returned fire, killing the gunman. The others escaped.

Police spokesperson Inspector Anton Breedt confirmed that the robber died at the scene and that police had confiscated an unlicensed pistol. "We believe this is a major breakthrough in our investigations into house robberies in Pretoria east and are in the process of linking the dead man to a spate of attacks in the area."

This includes a robbery in Elardus Park on Saturday when four armed men attacked 11 people at a braai.

# This article was originally published on page 3 of Pretoria News on January 18, 2007
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