Saturday, 15 December 2007

Police 'shocked' by crime spree

14/12/2007 10:48 - (SA)

Verashni Pillay

Pretoria - Police on Friday said they were shocked by the senseless violence during a three-hour crime spree in the quiet suburb of East Lynne, which left four people with gunshot wounds.

Two robbers hit three houses within three hours during the bloody rampage, stealing two cellphones, almost raping a woman and hijacking a car.

"I can't understand that," Inspector Klaas van der Kooi told News24 on Friday. "I was shocked."

The robbers hit shortly after 20:00, when they attacked an elderly man and his son-in-law in a house in Swan Street. They entered the house and left with only a cellphone.

'She screamed'

They then moved on to Stormvoël Drive, where one of the suspects attempted to rape a woman. Her screams alerted a friend, who was shot as he came to her rescue. He was wounded in the leg, but is in a stable condition, police told News24.

Police are following up leads after the car of a 22-year-old woman that was hijacked in the last incident was found without wheels in a maize field near Marble Hall in Limpopo.

"We got several leads from that," said Van der Kooi. Police will use the evidence gathered to trace the robbers, who are still at large.

The woman was rushed to Pretoria Academic Hospital in a serious condition after being shot. She was targeted while parking her car at her home in Hans Dons Drive.

"They didn't ask anything, they just started shooting," said Van der Kooi.

Gert Otto, a neighbour, noticed two men running down the street. "One of them had a firearm and fired three shots into the passenger side of the car."

Initially their shots missed the woman, but the robbers then pulled her from the vehicle and shot her several times before fleeing in the car.

Serious but stable

A hospital spokesperson told News24 on Friday morning that the woman was in a serious but stable condition.

Police are investigating three cases of armed robbery, a hijacking, and four cases of attempted murder.

"From time to time things happen, but people getting shot like this, it doesn't happen on a daily basis," said Van der Kooi.


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