Ricochet News

Schoenmakerskop and Forest Hill killer arrested at court, could be linked to more crimes

Oct 27, 2017
Schoenmakerskop and Forest Hill killer arrested at court, could be linked to more crimes

Police in Port Elizabeth on Friday confirmed that they arrested a 21-year-old suspect in connection with the brutal murders of an elderly Schoenmakerskop couple in September. He has also been positively linked to the murder of a man in Forrest Hill.

The man was arrested on Wednesday afternoon at the Magistrate’s Court in Paterson.

"The suspect was appearing on a previous case of housebreaking, which was committed in October 2017. The arrest came after police were following up on several leads," said police spokesperson, Col Priscilla Naidu.

A manhunt had been launched after 72-year-old Ken Alexander was killed when robbers invaded their Schoenmakerskop home on September 25th. Although initial police reports had said he had been shot, it was later revealed that the elderly man was brutally bludgeoned to death with a blunt object.

His wife, 78-year-old Elaine Allwright, was also brutally attacked and was in ICU at a local hospital before she passed on due to her injuries on October 5th.

That next day, the residents of Schoenmakerskop offered a R50 000 reward for information, which could lead to the arrest, prosecution and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the attack.

"The  suspect is also charged for the murder of the 49-year-old man, who was bludgeoned in a house robbery on  23 September at the Forrest Hills cemetery caretaker’s quarters," described Col Naidu.

"It is alleged that  at about 23:45, that day, the deceased, Tyrone Plaatjies, and his friend were inside the caravan sleeping when two unknown men pushed opened the door and entered.

"One was armed with a hammer and started assaulting the two men. They searched the caravan and took R50 cash, a cellphone  and a vehicle belonging to  the deceased. Plaatjies  succumbed to his injuries while on his way to hospital."

The suspect will appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Monday, on three charges of murder and aggravated robbery on two cases.

"Further arrests are imminent. Police will be investigating whether the suspect may be linked to other cases of robbery in the Summerstrand and Humewood areas," said Col Naidu.

The Deputy Cluster Commander of Mount Road Cluster, Big Keith Meyer, has reiterated the sentiments of the Cluster Commander and also commended the detectives from SAPS Walmer and Humewwod, who had been working assiduously in tracking down the suspect.

"The task team had been following up on all information received relating to the murder of the elderly couple.  This case is literally a case of where the team was working 24/7 around the clock and have left no stone unturned.

"It is always very challenging to crack a case where there were no witnesses involved and  the detective commander of SAPS Walmer, Capt  Elroy Lindoor and his team of detectives from Walmer and Humewood are commended for their relentless efforts. We also thank the community for providing us with information because every information no matter how insignificant it may have seemed, was followed up by the team," he said. 

The Cluster Commander for Mount Road Cluster, Maj Gen Funeka Siganga, expressed her appreciation to the task team for their dedication and commitment in ensuring a speedy and successful arrest of a suspect involved in the murder of the elderly couple from Schoenmakerskop.

"Such callous and cruel attacks on law abiding citizens will not be tolerated  and we urge the  communities to work closely with the police in order to bring these perpetrators to book and we will ensure through our thorough investigations that these criminals remain behind bars," added Maj Gen Siganga.