Johannesburg - A gang of armed robbers appear to be terrorising the suburbs in and around Linden – and the local neighbourhood watch is worried that residents haven’t been sufficiently warned about the danger.
CCTV footage The Star has viewed shows a group of five men in a silver BMW walking in a street in the suburb, where three homes were robbed on December 21.
And just five days ago, another family were struck by what appears to have been the same gang.
The footage shows the first incident in Linden. In the clip, the group drive past a house. The driver makes a U-turn and parks the car outside a victim’s home.
The gang emerge with pistols and rush towards the gate.
The man who lives at the house, who asked not to be identified, said he had been working in his garden that afternoon and his front gate was ajar. The men pointed a gun at his head and demanded his valuables. He said his whole family were home at the time.
The thieves insisted he open his safe and gun safe. Within minutes, they had ransacked his home.
“They basically cleaned us out… You expect it to take hours, but they were gone so quickly,” he said.
But the men weren’t done yet, according to Linden Neighbourhood Watch operations manager Fareed Hoosen.
Separate CCTV footage taken that same day shows the BMW travelling out of the suburb. A robbery in Parkhurst, by men also in a silver BMW 3 series, was reported less than half-an-hour later. Hoosen said the spree was not over, as another attempted house robbery was reported shortly afterwards.
An armed-response guard was shot dead in Parkview while stopping a third attempted robbery.
24/7 Security Services said the guard had got out of his vehicle to perform a routine check when the five armed men drove past.
Three thugs got out of the vehicle, shot him twice and stole his firearm. The patrol car’s camera revealed that the licence plate of the car was the same as that caught on CCTV footage earlier.
Case dockets were opened at the relevant police stations, but, more than three weeks later, no arrests have been made.
Last Thursday, a home on 5th Avenue in Linden was robbed by five armed men. Witnesses at the scene told the neighbourhood watch that the car they had been travelling in was a silver BMW 3 series.
The family staying at the home were on Monday unavailable for comment, but the domestic worker said she had spotted the same car outside the house last Saturday.
She said the men had been trying to force open the gate, but when they spotted her, they ran away.
Hoosen said he was disappointed that police had not yet warned residents of the gang’s activities. And with no arrests so far, it was time to call on the public for help in the investigation. He asked anyone with any information on the case to phone him on 076 413 7184. The information would be handed over to the Linden SAPS.
A list of queries was sent to the local police station on Monday, but there was no reply by the time of publication.