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Durban - A pregnant woman was kicked on her back and a relative pistol whipped during a home invasion in Glenwood.
The woman, who is five-months pregnant, her terrified four-year-old son and four other family members watched in horror for about 20 minutes as five armed robbers ransacked their home on Wednesday night.
The intruders made off with jewellery, two plasma television sets, a PlayStation gaming console, wallets, cellphones and a car.
The vehicle, equipped with a tracking device, was later found stripped of its parts in Chesterville. A door key, which the robbers used to lock the family inside the house, was found in the car.
Billy Williamson, 61, was struck with a gun on his forehead after he was woken by the men, who forced their way into the house after jumping over a fence.
They gained entry after his grandson, Travis Pearce, 13, stepped outside briefly, at about 9pm, while some members of his family were watching TV.
The pregnant woman, who asked that her name not be mentioned, said: “They just came in the room, cocked the gun and told me to ‘shoosh’. One of them went into my bedroom and helped themselves to my jewellery.”
The family was rounded up and made to lie on the lounge floor.
“I tried very hard to listen to them and stay quiet. They kicked me when I struggled to lie flat.”
Williamson said he was tossed on the floor, bleeding after being struck on his head. “I just remember a gun to my head. The other one (robber) picked me up and the next thing they hit me on my forehead. I woke up on the floor,” he said.
“It seems like they knew us, because the one guy was counting and he said ‘they are all here’. But I’m not scared, I’m just really angry that this has happened to my family.”
Lynette Williamson, 54, said her four-year-old grandson handled the incident well.
“He was the bravest out of all of us. He started crying and I grabbed him and I told him, ‘let’s play a game’. He said yes and he asked me if they (the robbers) were the bad guys, and I said ‘yes, we are scared and we have to be quiet otherwise the bad guys will hurt us’,” she said.
Lynette said she shielded her grandson with her body as they lay on the floor.
Counting their blessings, the family plans to redo the fencing to improve security after the attack.
Police spokesman, Colonel Jay Naicker, said a case of house robbery and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm was being investigated. No arrests had been made.
According to the security company, Blue Security, there have been four housebreakings and an armed house robbery in the Umbilo and Glenwood areas since Saturday.
The stolen items included computers, clothes and food.
Blue Security’s managing director, Darryn le Grange, advised residents to leave their security systems on, even if they were at home.
“Criminals can strike at any time of the day or night, but home invasions often occur when families are either arriving home or leaving to go out during the late afternoon and early evening. This is also a time of the day when families are relaxing at home and may be caught off guard with a door open,” Le Grange said.
“If you find yourself in a home invasion situation with no time to escape to the safety of a bathroom, the best thing to do is to co-operate with the robbers’ requests and help them to get out of your home as quickly as possible,” Le Grange said.
“This will reduce the possibility of the attack turning violent.”