Cape Town - Two teenage boys have been praised for foiling a raid on a Cape Town house by the so-called “crowbar gang”.
Details of the drama have been sent as a warning by members of the Camps Bay Community Security Initiative (CBCSI), which funds a comprehensive anti-crime network, including Watch Control, the Radio Network, Controller, a tactical response unit, guard huts and a CCTV monitoring system.
Chairman Ian Merrington reported that on Thursday at 8.15pm a call was made to the CBCSI’s watch control that “a boy of 14 was trapped inside a Rontree house, while a burglary… was occurring”.
Rontree is a suburb of Camps Bay above Camps Bay Drive. The CBCSI dispatched all units to surround the property and roads.
On arrival, the tactical response unit found the front door had been forced open “crowbar style and requested back-up”, Merrington reported.
It emerged that the teenager had managed to SMS a school friend that his house was under attack by burglars and he could see them rummaging through the house.
“The traumatised boy and his mom were in a part of the residence at the back of the property, and upon hearing noises, the son had bravely ventured to a vantage point where he witnessed the men carrying out the flatscreen TV, but could only give a clothing description, as he had to take great care not to be noticed between sneaking peeks and could not flee, as the criminals blocked the entrance,” Merrington said.
“The friend alerted his mom who called the SAPS and Bay Response. CBCSI WatchCon was then alerted via Bay Response, and our Tac 1 unit arrived first on scene.”
The boy and his mother were located unharmed at the back of the premises, but the burglars had fled.
The boy was given trauma counselling. Merrington praised both the boy and his mother for their courage, and the response teams for their swift action.
The incident was followed by another traumatic ordeal, this time for a Camps Bay resident, a guesthouse owner, at 5pm on Friday.
“He was tied up and robbed at knife-point by four well-dressed men, who kept him captive in his home for about half an hour.
“After gaining entry under false pretences – they posed as potential guests wanting to book accommodation for the night – the intruders tied the homeowner up, threatened him with a knife and covered his head with a blanket, despite his pleas to allow him to breathe properly,” Merrington said.
The four assailants were tall with athletic builds, wearing polo shirts, sunglasses and caps and wore gloves while they ransacked the house, later fleeing in an old “pale-reddish-orange hatchback”.
The guest house owner managed to contact his next-door neighbour, who Merrington said was an active Camps Bay Watch member.
“This is a warning to all guest house owners, please read the incident report and be wary of accepting so-called ‘walk-in’ clientele,” Merrington said.
In both incidents, Camps Bay Watch asked the Cape Argus to protect the identity of the victims.