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Durban - Robbers dug a hole and crawled under a fence to gain entry to a Hillcrest home where one of them used his teeth to pull off the wedding rings a woman had worn for 41 years.
The 2am home invasion has left the victims, Betty Semand, 70, and her husband Fred, 66, traumatised.
They had moved into the house only a few weeks ago.
The robbers had removed an aluminum window frame to get to the sleeping couple inside the Kandalila Road home.
Since the robbery on Saturday, he said he had been under medication to keep him calm.
Recalling the incident on Wednesday, Semand said they were asleep when their dog, Candy, began barking frantically.
Semand said he went into the lounge to investigate and was startled to see the curtain move and then a head emerging.
“Words cannot explain how I felt at that moment. I thought I was having a nightmare. I screamed and grabbed hold of the man. We had a scuffle but he overpowered me and pinned me to the floor.”
Three other men climbed through the window and began ransacking the house, loading the couple’s valuables into bags and packets.
Semand said a robber dragged him by his T-shirt from the lounge to the bedroom, where his wife was on her knees next to the bed. Her legs had been tied.
“My concern now was, what next? Would they harm my wife and me?”
The robbers tied his hands and legs with shoelaces and bras.
While tying her hand they noticed that she had six gold rings on her fingers and threatened to cut them off if she did not hand them over.
Two were the wedding rings she had worn for 41 years.
Semand said he could only watch as one of the robbers put her fingers in his mouth and tried to pull off the rings with his teeth.
They also took Betty’s earrings.
“My wife was left traumatised,” Semand said.
“His teeth were like a wrench.”
He said it was difficult to untie the bras from their ankles but they managed to free themselves later.
“We lived in Durban North for 36 years where only a bicycle was stolen,” said Fred.
“We moved in here for less than a month and we are robbed of everything.”
The robbers took several valuable items from the home, even making off with a 2 litre Coke from the fridge before leaving through the front gate.
Blue Security managing director, Darryn le Grange, said the robbers had dug a hole under the fence of the property.
Police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane, confirmed the incident.