Pretoria woman outsmarts two thieves

Police K9 unit response vehicle.   Photo:  stockphoto
Police K9 unit response vehicle. Photo: stockphoto

A woman cleverly outsmarted two men breaking into her house, while she was at home on Friday afternoon.

The 74-year-old woman noticed the two men from her living room, attempting to force open a sliding-open door of her house in Bailey’s Muckleneuk east of Pretoria.

Brooklyn spokesperson Captain Colette Weilbach said the elderly woman’s home was targeted on Friday at around 18:00.

“She remained focused when she noticed the men attempting to break into her home.”

Weilbach said the men were trying to open the door with a screwdriver.

“She quickly moved to the garage where she locked herself in. She then screamed and used the hooter of her vehicle to scare the burglars off.”

After gaining access to the residence the men tried to steal a TV, but broke it while fleeing from the house because of the screaming woman.

Weilbach said the woman stayed calm during the ordeal and this saved her.

“No arrests have been made but police were investigating a burglary and damage to property.”

Neighbor Tom Hurry said he heard screaming late Friday afternoon. “I first thought it was a child screaming,” he said.

When he peeked over the wall he didn’t see anything.

Hurry said the screams came again even louder.

“I quickly got my ladder attempting to go over the fence. As I got to the top of the ladder to see the house I noticed the door was open,” Hurry said.

He called the police who responded very quickly.

Weilbach said it was important for anyone living on their own to be aware of their surroundings.

“Many criminals target victims who are considered vulnerable,” Weilbach said.

She offered a few handy tips for residents:

– A high fence around the house and lockable gates would be a safe option.

– Ensure your gates are locked at all times and the keys cannot be reached easily.

– Security gates with sturdy locks and burglar-proofing covering all windows are recommended.

– An alarm system, preferably connected to an armed response company, can act as an effective deterrent.

– Dogs are helpful as they serve as a deterrent.

– Report suspicious behaviour to the police.

– Build a good relationship with your neighbours and support each other during a security breach.

– Do not allow strangers on your premises or in your house without properly identifying them, especially at night.

– Do not keep large amounts of cash at home.

Weilbach said anyone with information on the attempted theft can contact the Brooklyn police station on 012-403-8600, or the Crime Stop number at 08600 10111 or SMS Crime Line 32211 to report crime anonymously.

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