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Durban - While a wounded Durban mother lay in the boot of her car 10 hours after being hijacked, her attackers partied outside, waiting to be able to draw more money from her account.
Police, working with informers, found Dorothy Carlyle beaten and stabbed on Wednesday morning, locked in the boot of her car in KwaMashu, while her hijackers were apparently boasting to bystanders that they had snatched her.
After a shoot-out with the hijackers, police freed Carlyle and arrested two women and a man.
They are looking for two more men.
Carlyle, 59, was taken by hijackers on Tuesday in her silver BMW, in Cadogan Drive, Durban North, at 2.30pm.
She is in hospital recovering from her injuries and trauma.
Her daughter Brooke, told the Daily News that her mother was recovering well and receiving trauma counselling.
She said her mother was of Irish descent and came to South Africa more than 30 years ago.
A police source said the hijackers found her credit card and withdrew cash from her account.
The source said: “They took her to an automatic teller machine in Newlands East where they withdraw R2 000 before taking her to KwaMashu.”
The tracker was activated on her car and at around 3.30pm, co-ordinates showed it was in the Newlands East area. The signal then went dead.
The hijackers had exhausted Carlyle’s daily ATM withdrawal limit and were believed to have been trying to keep her so they could withdraw cash again on Wednesday.
Police launched a massive search for her, pulling in several units, off-duty police officers, security companies and community police forums.
Carlyle’s family also hired a private investigator from the Specialised Services Group to track her.
The source said she was found in KwaMashu’s M-Section after an extensive search involving more than 20 officers from various units.
Two women and a man were arrested and police believe more people were involved. They were heavily under the influence of alcohol. Several bottles of alcohol and food were found in the car.
Police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane, said the suspects were aged between 15 and 22.
A relative, who did not want to be named, said they were extremely grateful that Carlyle was alive.
“If it was not for the support of the community, police and friends, we would have not survived the 10 hours. It was agony.”
The relative said minutes after the news of Carlyle's abduction hit the streets, family and friends gathered at her house in Durban North where they held a night long prayer vigil.
The hijacking and search was reported on the eBlockwatch network.
The source said reports that nine people had been arrested were incorrect, and that the confusion may have arisen because there was a crowd at the scene when police found the car with the woman in it.
Many at the scene were believed to be bystanders.
“[The suspects] were showing off that they had snatched her,” he said.
Private investigators, working with informers, had gathered information and alerted police.
“They were obviously drinking and partying,” the source said.
He said there was some shooting at the scene, but that nobody was injured.
The shooters could have been people trying to scare off the police, he said.
The electronic eBlockwatch network helped in the search, posting details of the woman’s vehicle online on Tuesday.
“Local resident from Durban North has been hijacked from her home at roughly 15h00 this afternoon… No contact made by her to family or friends,” said the first message.
Soon afterwards a woman wrote on Facebook that she knew the victim personally.
“Still no word to the family. Please keep updating,” she wrote.
By Tuesday night eBlockwatch’s Andre Snyman was still running alerts. “Sorry I know it’s late but this is hectic. A woman hijacked and still with the guys,” he wrote.
“I have smsed Durban members so they can mobilise as much help as possible. The best you can do for us is get this to all your friends.”
Another woman wrote that the victim was in her prayers.
Hours later the network announced she had been found.
“9 guys arrested by 3 reservists who went in. She is badly beaten and [on] her way to hospital, but alive!!!” reported a networker.
“From an SAPS member working on this: the helicopter is still flying high here [trying] to find the vehicle,” wrote another.
“Massive shoot-out, she is badly beaten up,” wrote Snyman later. - Daily News