27/01/2008 23:27 - (SA)
Eagan Williamson, Beeld
Pretoria - A pregnant woman decided to strike back when an armed robber tried to rape her in front of her fiance and other guests during a robbery in Menlo Park.
Three men, armed with a firearm, knobkerrie and steel pipe descended on the home of Dean Lentz and his wife Belinda, both 45, while a group of people were having supper there.
This is the fourth time in 20 months that the Lentzes have been attacked by criminals.
Andre Griesel, 25, a Hartbeespoort police officer and a relative of Lentz's, and his eight-months pregnant fiancée, Chereze Ehlers, 21, were visiting.
Three minors, children of the Lentz couple's friends, were also present when the robbers burst in.
A calm Belinda Lentz told on Sunday how she was serving dessert when the three men stormed in through the back door of the TV room-cum-dining room, yelling.
Wanted laptops, cash and cellphones
"We think they must have climbed over the neighbours' wall and hidden in our garden for a while, as the children had been swimming before supper. They must have been watching us."
Two robbers hit the men over the head with their weapons and Lentz lost consciousness.
Then a robber also hit his wife on the head and started yelling that they wanted laptops, money and cellphones.
A robber took Griesel's firearm away from him and, still yelling, started plundering the house and even demanding cellphones from the children.
Belinda and Chereze were lying under the table and one of the robbers was demanding for money and goods from the pregnant woman.
Chereze said: "I lay on my stomach there on the carpet and feared most for my child."
"One of the robbers tried to lift my skirt and I begged him not to do anything to me, but he carried on threatening me and holding me down."
The robber succeeded in pulling down her underwear.
"That was when I decided to retaliate and try to fight him off."
He gave up and carried on plundering the house together with his cronies.
"I took off all my jewellery and offered it to them, but they took only my ear rings and my engagement ring."
Pulled up her underwear
The robbers later tied everyone up and ordered them not to "try anything", before they made off with cellphones, electronic equipment and jewellery.
One of the robbers pulled Chereze's underwear back into position and adjusted her skirt before they fled.
"We are just thankful that the police acted so swiftly and truly hope something will now be done about the crime in the country," said Lentz.
Chereze was rushed to hospital in case she went into labour as a result of the trauma, but was discharged on Sunday.