Durban - A couple visiting Durban from the Netherlands has finally managed to open a case of theft, after being turned away by police three times.
On Tuesday the Daily News reported how the travellers, Willem, 77, and Christina Beekenkamp, 80, were victims of crime when a man tore a gold necklace from around Christina’s neck while the two were walking in the vicinity of Mahatma Gandhi (Point) Road.
After stopping passing police, as well as visiting a nearby police station and calling police to their beachfront hotel, the two were unsuccessful in opening a case because, they were told, they would have to return to South Africa for a court case so it was not worth taking a statement.
In a desperate attempt to retrieve the necklace, which has significant sentimental value, the couple offered a reward of R1 000 to anyone who returned the item to them.
On Wednesday Willem contacted the Daily News to say that upon reading the article, police had taken action, with a brigadier and captain personally assisting.
“Between 7am and 8am, two police officers arrived at our hotel, but we were getting breakfast and reception could not track us.
“At about 8am we got a phone call from a policeman and he and another policeman came to our hotel at 9am,” he said.
Willem said one of the officers came to assist, despite having to go to Johannesburg that day.
“Both police officers apologised many times for the actions of the police. They took our statements and opened a case. They have also started an internal investigation.”
The couple was escorted by the police to pawnshops in the Point area to try to identify the stolen item, but it was not found.
Willem said they had received e-mails from South Africans apologising on behalf of the police.