Durban — A 10-month-old baby is alleged to have been slapped by a suspect during a house robbery in Parkgate, Verulam, on Wednesday afternoon.
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Nqobile Gwala said that Verulam police are investigating a case of house robbery following an incident in which a family was reportedly robbed by three armed suspects on September 13 on Heathrow Avenue in Parkgate.
“The suspects took jewellery, cellphones and drove away in their getaway vehicle,” Gwala said.
Reaction Unit Unit South Africa (Rusa) spokesperson Prem Balram said that a 10-month-old infant was assaulted during the house robbery.
“A 10-month-old baby was slapped by a suspect during a home invasion on Heathrow Avenue in Parkgate,” Balram said.
He said that at 12.04pm, an off-duty police officer contacted Rusa asking for help after he noticed a white Suzuki, model and registration unknown, drive off at high speed from a neighbouring property.
The caller could also hear his neighbours calling out for assistance. The SAPS official attempted to intercept the suspects on the road but they managed to evade arrest, Balram said.
He said that reaction officers were dispatched to assist the police officer, and on arrival met with the victims.
“It was established that five armed males entered the residence and confronted four adults and the infant child. They slapped the minor when he started to cry,” Balram said. “The robbers stole household items and jewellery. They abandoned a 55-inch Hisense TV on the side of the road due to their vehicle being overloaded.”
Balram added that a victim said that the getaway vehicle was driven by a female, but this could not be confirmed.
“Reaction officers conducted a search for the suspects but no arrests were made,” Balram said.
In an unrelated incident in April, also in Parkgate and on the same road, house robbers allegedly threatened to shoot and kidnap a 6-month-old baby.
It was alleged that five suspects entered the property after the resident opened the driveway gate for a visitor. The robbers held up eight adults and a baby at gunpoint.
“They threatened to shoot or kidnap the baby after the victims advised them that they did not possess keys to the safe. The robbers thereafter stole seven cellphones, a 42-inch TV, a Dell and HP laptop and one of the vehicles parked on the property,” Balram said.
“One of the victims was assaulted but did not require medical intervention.”
Balram said witnesses reported seeing a gold Kia Sportage with registration ND 910 427 dropping off the suspects. The robbers fled in a blue VW Polo 8 belonging to one of the victims. The vehicle was recovered abandoned.
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