Port Elizabeth police warn of ‘thirsty’ house robbers

BY YOLANDA PALEZWENI - OCTOBER 4, 2016

Police in Port Elizabeth are warning residents to be wary of criminals pretending to be people in need of assistance or water, who knock on people's doors and then proceed to rob them. The warning comes after an elderly Cotswold man was robbed at his home on Monday evening.

According to police, on Monday, at about 18:20, an 86 year-old motor mechanic became the criminals' latest victim after he answered a knock on his door at his home in Cleeve Road in Cotswold, Port Elizabeth.

It is alleged that two unknown men informed him that they had a breakdown with their car and asked the man to take a look at the vehicle.  

Once outside, they concocted a story that their vehicle was now fine before asking the man for water and then followed him into the house.

 “The two men used a firearm and a knife to threaten him and covered his head with a towel and took a small amount of cash from the safe,” said police spokesperson, Colonel Priscilla Naidu.

She added that a witness said that five suspects drove off in VW Golf and no injuries were sustained.

Police have since opened a case of house robbery.

A few hours after the incident, members from the Visible Gang Intervention Team found the suspected vehicle parked at Dolfyn Flats in Algoa Park, Port Elizabeth.

According to the police the vehicle was confiscated and towed in for further investigation, no arrests have been made as yet.

Police would like to warn the community not to entertain strange and unknown persons knocking on their doors asking for water or assistance.

“It is advised to deal with them behind locked security gates; it is not the first time that people have been robbed in their homes by thieves asking for water."

Colonel Naidu added that their motive is to get their victim to open up so that access to the house can be obtained and once inside they produce a firearm or other weapon to threaten their victim.

"If the person outside [your house] is a stranger, engage in minimal conversation as possible," she said.