Monday, 15 March 2010

Elderly farm couple robbed

March 10 2010 at 09:48AM

By Caryn Dolley

Betty Hasler, 78, was expecting to spend a relaxing hour in front of her television on Sunday evening, but instead found herself being dragged from her bed at gunpoint and tied up alongside family members.

She also watched from the floor as her husband Willy, 64, was hit over the head with a heavy meat hook and wounded when a gun held by one of the robbers "exploded".

"I'm still very shaken," Hasler said yesterday from her Wellington farm, where a few months ago she was also tied up during a robbery.

The two men suspected of the attack on Sunday - a 27-year-old from Elsies River and a 23-year-old from Atteridgeville - were scheduled to appear in the Wellington Magistrate's Court today.

Hasler said she had been watching TV on Sunday when someone had rushed into the room.

"He had a gun and told me to get up," she said.

"He dragged me into the lounge and tied my hands up very tightly with cable ties. Then he left and came back with Willy.

"Willy's neck was hurt when he tried to stop the men and their gun went off. There was so much blood."

Hasler's cousin and his wife had also been bound and left in the lounge.

"My cousin was forced down and a pillow was put over his head. He thought he was going to be shot, but after a while the two men left.

"It was so frightening, and then, soon afterwards, the house was filled with police."

Wellington police spokeswoman Celeste Barkhuizen said that at the same time as the robbery, Flying Squad members had been told about a silver Honda Civic spotted in the area that had been reported stolen in Gordon's Bay earlier.

The police had managed to stop it at the Wellington railway station and, while searching the two occupants, one whose face appeared to be bleeding, they had found cash, a safe and a firearm in the car.

Barkhuizen said the police had realised the car's occupants had been involved in a robbery.

The police were able to identify the farm and found the Haslers and their two relatives still tied up.

Barkuizen said Willy Hasler had a burn wound on his neck and it was thought he had been injured when "the firearm exploded at the time the shot was fired".

He was discharged from Tygerberg Hospital yesterday.


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