Thugs strike while woman prays


Five suspects who raided a house in Stanwest in Standerton on Monday and hijacked a Nissan Tiida later the same day tightened their belts soon after with the help of the police, security companies and other residents of the neighborhood.

Brig. Selvy Mohlala, police spokesperson, says the suspects apparently waited at the house for some time before they struck at around 09:45.

“At that time, an elderly woman was praying in her house when she suddenly heard the domestic worker shouting and saw one of the suspects in her yard through the window.

“She then locked herself and other family members in one of the rooms and called the police,” says Mohlala.

According to Mohlala, the suspects stole a laptop before fleeing the scene.

“One of the residents in the neighborhood was also informed of the incident. She responded and came across the suspects. They apparently pointed a firearm at her and robbed her of her vehicle, a Nissan Tiida.”

According to Shandre van der Heever, a resident of Standerton and the daughter of the woman whose car was hijacked, the thugs also fired three shots.

“Thankfully, no one was hurt, but they pulled my mother out of the car and hit her over the head with a firearm before speeding away in the car.”

“One of the residents – who also responded to the incident – is said to have hit one of the thugs shortly afterwards.

Van der Heever says, however, that the thug did not suffer any injuries from the bump, but was kicked, beaten and even bitten by angry community members.

“The police arrested him first, after which the other four thugs were arrested shortly after.”

According to Mohlala, the cooperation between members of the Standerton police, security companies and residents led to the rapid arrest of five suspects. They are between 31 and 45 years old.

“During the arrest, the police seized a firearm and ammunition as well as the car used in the robbery.

“The hijacked vehicle was also recovered,” says Mohlala.

The seized firearm will undergo ballistics tests to determine if it was used in other crimes.

According to Mohlala, additional charges may be added against the suspects as the investigation progresses.

“A charge of reckless driving can also be filed against the suspects while the investigation continues.”

The five suspects are expected to appear in the Standerton Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday on charges of carjacking, possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition and armed robbery.

Lt. Gen. Provincial police chief Semakaleng Manamela welcomed the arrests and praised the cooperation with the community and private sector.