02/11/2007 08:06 - (SA)
Sarie van Niekerk, Beeld
Springs - The quick and brave action of a 17-year-old schoolboy has saved his mother and 14-year-old sister, who hid in a cupboard while robbers were at their house.
Three armed men held up the boy and his father, an Edenvale doctor, outside their home and stole two vehicles, among other things, on Wednesday evening.
When Marcé Jacobs was forced by the robbers to fetch the keys to a Mercedes Benz, Karin Jacobs and her daughter Carike were alerted by his unusual action while approaching the house, and were able to hide away before the robbers realised they were there.
Marcé, a grade 11 pupil at Hugenote High School said on Thursday that when his father arrived at their Petersfield home, he hooted as usual for one of the children to open the garage.
"When I opened the door of the house, I saw a BMW 5 series draw up behind my father. I saw three armed men and thought that I should run back inside, but I realised that I'd be leading the robbers to my mother and sister.
The men held up and assaulted his father, who lay on the ground with his hands in the air.
'Don't do anything stupid'
"The one robber immediately turned to me. I put my hands in the air and said 'don't do anything stupid, take what you want'.
"The robber rushed at me when he saw that besides the VW Touareg there was also a Mercedes in the garage.
"He forced me inside the house to get the keys to the Mercedes. I spoke loudly in English while walking to the house, to warn my mom that something was wrong. Luckily when I got into the lounge, they weren't there. When we walked out again with the keys, the robber threatened to hit me with a hammer. I just told myself: 'stay calm and do what they say'."
Meanwhile Dr Jacobs had been robbed of his wedding ring, watch and cellphone. When he couldn't get his wedding ring off fast enough, a robber threatened to bite off his finger.
When the wedding ring fell he was forced at gunpoint to crawl around on the grass and search for it.
"I just prayed that they wouldn't shoot. I did everything they said, even when I had to crawl around on the grass to look for my wedding ring. I knew that they were less likely to shoot then," Dr Jacobs said.
The robbers sped off in the two vehicles, followed by the BMW they came in.
Dr Jacobs's full set of golf clubs was in his vehicle.
Both vehicles were recovered within hours of the robbery: one at the airfield in Springs and the other at Tsakane, Brakpan. Both had been looted.
No-one was injured but the family was very traumatised.
"The police were just excellent. They were quickly on the scene and treated our family wonderfully," Dr Jacobs said.
His wife, Karin, was in a shop in Benoni when it was robbed a year ago. "The shots thudded into the ground next to me," she recalled on Thursday.
Dr Jacobs was also robbed by armed men at his consulting rooms in Springs six years ago, but the robbers fled when patients arrived.