Cape Town - When the alarm went off at their Parow shop at 4am, the Lakay family didn’t know what to expect. In fact, the phone call hardly made any sense.
“A police car in our shop?” Beverley Lakay asked her security company, still half-asleep. “That’s not how it works.”
When the Lakays arrived at their family shop, Outdoor Power, on Tuesday, they found a police van had smashed through the glass front and come to rest at the far end of the shop.
The vehicle had uprooted a set of steel burglar bars which still clung to its bonnet and front bumper – this wasn’t a break-in any more than it was a case of window shopping.
“It was like a dream, I was pinching myself,” said Lakay.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut said the cops had been travelling along Voortrekker Road when they had lost control and spun into the décor and power tools shop.
“No injuries were sustained,” he said. But as Lakay picked through the smashed-up interior she spotted bloodstains all over the display she had laboured over. “The cops didn’t look seriously injured, but they were bleeding quite a bit.”
The vehicle’s path of destruction had wrecked most of the display. Lakay said it would probably cost about R200 000 to rebuild it.
“They must’ve come at a helluva speed to take out the burglar bars and then the display unit too,” she said.
On Tuesday, the shop was closed for business as the family rushed to secure it before nightfall.
Wooden boards were erected in place of the shattered windows while security guards were brought in to keep an eye on the place until new burglar bars were installed.
While Lakay was happy that the cops weren’t seriously injured – they somehow managed to avoid a gauntlet of chainsaws – she was nevertheless upset.
“They were obviously driving a bit fast, and now look at our shop.
“But to be truly honest, the response from the police was amazing. They were very efficient and I was impressed at how they handled things.”
Traut said a case of reckless and negligent driving was being investigated.