Durban - Two women, including a 90-year-old, have been assaulted in their homes in Botha’s Hill after robbers broke in.

On Sunday evening, Tinny Kurvis, 90, sustained severe injuries to her fingers when two men bit her as they struggled to remove her jewellery. The men overpowered Kurvis and made off with two “treasured” rings.

Her son, who asked to be identified only as Dutchy, said what happened was “barbaric and insensitive”.

“The way my mom described it, she had her back to the window, her TV was on and the next minute she heard glass breaking. By the time she turned around there was a youngster inside the room who pushed her and went straight for her fingers.

“The chap ended up biting her,” he said. The bites left an open wound.

“To abuse a 90-year-old, frail woman and maliciously bite her and take her pride and joy” was outrageous, he said.

“At 90, she has nothing left except those rings that she’s kept all her life.”

The men also stole Kurvis’s plasma television.

On Monday afternoon, a 41-year-old was hit with a bottle on the back of her head when robbers broke into her home. The thieves made off with her firearm and household goods.

Police spokesman Thulani Zwane confirmed both incidents. He said police were investigating cases of house robbery and that no arrests had been made.

Steven King, of SA Community Crime Watch and SecureLink security, said: “We don’t believe it’s one group operating in the area, and it’s possible that it is whoonga addicts from KwaNyuswa and Embo.”

He said the thieves were brazen, disregarding alarm systems going off. King said the hardest-hit areas were those along the railway line, and he pleaded for police visibility.

Private security company Blue Security said it had noticed a spike in contact crimes in the past two weeks.

Managing director Henk van Bemmelen said that gangs of between two and four armed robbers had targeted victims in 20 hijacking and armed robberies in “broad daylight”, mostly in the early morning and evening.

Van Bemmelen identified the hardest-hit areas as properties in Morningside, Briardene, Northdene, eManzimtoti, Malvern, Hillcrest, New Germany, Berea and Chatsworth.

The Mercury