Athlete’s medals stolen in burglary

Linda Potgieter who's gold medals were stolen during a house robbery. Photo: Supplied

Comrades marathon gold medallist Linda Potgieter’s medals were stolen when her Pretoria home was recently broken into.

Potgieter and her husband returned from holiday on Monday to find their home in Waterkloof Ridge ransacked.

“We came home Monday and when we opened the door we saw that the house was broken into,” she said.

“The people switched off the lights in the street, then they got into the yard and ripped out the alarm system cables. They removed the security gate and sliding door from the rail tracks.”

Potgieter said there was candle wax on the floor, indicating that the robbers used candles to get around in the house.

“They ripped everything out of the cupboards and took my husband’s suits, leather jackets and belts. They also took my underwear but not clothes.”

Potgieter said a while back she took her medals from the safe because her friend told her that house robbers forced people to open the safe.

She hid her medals in the cupboard, where the criminals clearly found them.

“The first thing I checked was my medals and they were gone because the people searched and ripped everything out of the cupboard,” she said.

“The medals are something I worked hard for and can never get back now,” said a disappointed Potgieter.

She said the intruders tried to open the safe but failed to do so. They appeared to have tried every key they could find as keys were strewn over the floor.

Potgieter is a 12-time comrade’s marathon runner and has won gold medals for category and team winners.

Fellow comrades marathon runner Caroline Wostmann sympathised with Potgieter, saying she had suffered a similar experience.

“It is hard enough to deal with the invasion of your privacy after experiencing a house burglary, but losing things which cannot be replaced is devastating,” she said.

“I know how sentimental my Comrades medals are to me and to lose something which you worked so hard for is heart-breaking.”

Wostmann expressed the hope that the culprits would be caught and the medals recovered to be returned to Linda.

“I also hope this will heighten our awareness of the crime epidemic in South Africa and that more will be done to combat it,” Wostmann said.

Potgieter said the police were investigating and had been of great assistance.

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Nthabiseng Madumo
West journalist

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