An armed robber was fatally shot by a homeowner during a house robbery in Longcroft Drive on Tuesday. Provincial police spokeswoman, Cpt Nqobile Gwala, said 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 shootout 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,” Cpt Gwala said.
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The complainant alleged that he was asleep in his bedroom at his home together with his wife when all of a sudden, he heard a noise coming from the lounge.
He then woke up and proceeded to the lounge where he noticed his sliding door open and gate cut. An unknown man was already inside his house at the time. He screamed at the perpetrator asking him what he was doing in his house.
He then noticed a second man enter through the cut gate. The shocked resident then ran to his bedroom and reached for his firearm, which was kept by his headboard. He fired in the direction of the suspects. The suspect then returned fire. At that stage, he noticed a fourth suspect in his house. He then told his wife not to come out of the room.
He had returned fire and emptied his magazine, which contained 13 rounds. He is not sure as to how many suspects had firearms or how many shots were fired at him.
The suspects with the firearm, advanced towards him through the passage of his house to another door at the end of the passage. The suspect then attempted to pull open the sliding door and continued to fire at him. He then returned fire at the suspect.
They could not escape and started to crawl through the passage. The homeowner monitored their movements until the assailants had fled. He noticed a firearm lying next to one of the suspects. Nothing was taken. The complainant and his wife were not injured. One suspect was shot and an inquest docket was registered.
Marlan Naidoo, spokesman for private security company, GBH Security and Training, who had responded to the robbery, alleged that the robbers wore a jacket that had been taken from a previous house robbery in Phoenix.
Chairman of the Phoenix Community Policing Forum, Umesh Singh, said that he has noticed that the time for robberies has changed to the early hours of morning.
“Maybe the robbers feel like this because its winter and people are sound asleep. The robbers certainly had a rude awakening at this home. I advise people to be on the lookout and arm their alarms systems even at night when you’re at home. The alarms will pick up on intruders,” Singh said.
Cllr Jonathan Annipen of the Minority Front and a Phoenix resident, said crime is a daily occurrence and the fact that the police were under-resourced in terms of manpower and vehicles made it difficult for visible policing.
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“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. Cllr Annipen said Phoenix was not a wealthy community and any sort of attack on people’s livelihood will not be tolerated.
He concluded, “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, collatingevidence which would guarantee definite prosecutions and ultimately prevent re-occurrence of similar crimes.”