Durban - A Phoenix resident shot dead a robber during a hold up at his home on Longcroft Drive on Tuesday.
It is alleged that in recent months a gang of robbers have been conducting a reign of terror in Phoenix by holding up homeowners and their families in the early hours of the morning said Marlan Naidoo a spokesman for a private security company, GBH Security and Training who had responded to the robbery.
Naidoo alleged that one of the robbers wore a jacket that had been taken from a previous house robbery in Phoenix.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said is that at 2.20 am the family members were asleep in their house when four men brandishing firearms entered the premises.
"The owner took cover and managed to take his firearm. A shoot-out ensued and one suspect sustained gunshot wounds to the body. He was declared dead at the scene. An unlicensed revolver was found next to the body of the deceased suspect," Gwala said.
Charges of robbery, attempted murder and an inquest are being investigated by Phoenix SAPS.
The Longcroft incident took place approximately 220 meters from the Phoenix police station.
"This is definitely the same syndicate conducting a spate of robberies in the area," Deodutt said.
On July 11, six men held up a family in Starwood at 4.30 am. They tied up the family and robbed them of household goods and took the homeowners vehicle. A day later a family were held up in Redberry Park at 4.45 am. Police said that a family member heard noise and went to investigate. Upon investigation, he was confronted by two armed men who robbed them of cash, jewellery, cellphones and fled with the complainant's vehicle.
Jonathan Annipen an eThekwini councillor with the Minority Front and a Phoenix resident said crime was a daily occurrence and the fact that the police were under-resourced in terms of manpower and vehicles made it difficult for visible policing.
"The community policing forums and crime Watch groups are limited in what they can do and so you get this kind of reaction from the homeowner who is trying to protect his family," he said.
Annipen said Phoenix was not a wealthy community and any sort of attack on peoples livelihood will not be tolerated.
"It is a stark reality and a clear indication of the poor functionality of our judicial system and its ability to pronounce appropriate judgement on perpetrators who are often repeat offenders in such crimes. This is further exacerbated by the ill-performance of the SAPS in so far as swiftly apprehending criminals, collating evidence which would guarantee definite prosecutions and ultimately prevent re-occurrence of similar crimes," Annipen said.
Umesh Singh, Phoenix Community Policing Forum chairperson, said crime is on the increase everywhere but we he noticed was the time for robberies has changed to the early hours of morning.
"Maybe the robbers fell like this because its winter and people are sound asleep. They certainly had a rude awakening at this home. I advise people to be on the look out and arm their alarms systems even at night when your at home. The alarms will pick up on intruders,"Singh said.