21/02/2007 19:08 - (SA)
Pietermaritzburg - Boiling water was poured on a couple by burglars demanding safe keys and money, police said on Wednesday.
Inspector Joey Jeevan said Gan Carlo Canterelli, 64, and his partner Sue Simpson, 58, were asleep when five armed men broke into their home in a complex in Hilton on Tuesday morning.
Simpson woke to hear their dogs barking, went to investigate and was confronted by balaclava-clad men armed with guns.
Alerted by her screams, Canterelli rushed to her assistance, but was punched and shoved to the floor next to her.
The men demanded money, but Canterelli said he did not have any as he used only his credit card.
One of the robbers placed a plastic bag over Canterelli's head and throttled him.
Another robber, who had been ransacking the house, demanded the safe keys.
The couple gave the men the keys after being assaulted again and having boiling water poured on their backs from a kettle.
In a serious condition
The robbers took three firearms, €60, jewellery, a digital camera and a hi-fi system.
"It is believed that entry into the house was possibly gained via a dogs' trapdoor at the rear entrance into the kitchen or through an open bathroom window," said Jeevan.
Canterelli and Simpson were taken to hospital where they were reportedly in a serious, but stable condition with burns to their backs and injuries to their faces and heads.
Police have asked anyone able to assist in their investigation to contact the investigating officer Detective-Inspector Johnson Sindane on 033-845-6526 or 082-459-7454, or Crime Stop on 08600-10111.