Monday, 7 January 2008

Robber kills man after invading 'fortress'

Hanti Otto

January 07 2008 at 04:14AM

A Waterkloof woman and her four young children watched in horror as an armed robber shot her husband in the head during a house robbery on Saturday night.

Fred Picton-Turberville, 47, died later at the Little Company of Mary hospital.

Police spokesperson Captain Lucas Sithole said two robbers broke into the house in Aries Street in Waterkloof Ridge at about 10pm, after bypassing several high-security measures.

They confronted Picton-Turberville and shot him at close range while his family looked on helplessly.

He died an hour later.

According to Sithole, the robbers fled with cellphones, a laptop, about R500 in cash and a handbag.

Paramedics of Lifemed Ambulance Services received a call for help and raced to the scene. When they arrived, a doctor, thought to be a family friend, was desperately trying to save Picton-Turberville, who had stopped breathing.

"We put the patient on life-support equipment and intubated him. Then we rushed him to the hospital where he was taken for scans," paramedics said.

On Sunday, the house in Waterkloof stood abandoned.

Neighbours had no idea how the robbers had managed to invade what seemed to be an impregnable fortress.

The walls around the house are more than two metres high. Both these walls and the motorised palisade gate have electric fencing.

From the street only the garage is visible and it seems impossible to enter the premises from a neighbouring property.

Neighbours on both sides of the Picton-Turbervilles said they had not heard anything at the time and only learned about the tragedy when contacted by the media.

Family members were understood to be on their way to Pretoria on Sunday.

Sithole on Sunday night said no arrests had been made yet, but they were investigating charges of murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Picton-Turberville is but the latest victim in a rash of violent robberies to plague the eastern suburbs of the city in recent months.

In July, Manie Maritz was shot in front of his teenage daughter when two robbers ambushed them at their Constantia Park home.

In October, Cathy Odendaal was murdered in Lynnwood Manor. That same month a Vietnamese diplomat was attacked in Brooklyn. Barely a month later, another man was shot dead in his home.

This article was originally published on page 1 of Pretoria News on January 07, 2008


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