Bloemfontein, South Africa- A traumatised family are lucky to be unharmed after a gang of armed robbers held them hostage in their home for over an hour in the Bayswater area of Bloemfontein. The family’s car was stolen in the robbery but was recovered a couple of hours after the hold-up.
At 20:55 on the evening of Monday, 19 July, Chubb Security’s Monitoring Centre received a panic activation from a client’s home in Bayswater. An armed response officer (RO) was immediately dispatched to the scene. As per company procedure, a back-up vehicle was also dispatched and the South African Police Service (SAPS) informed.
The homeowner, who wished to remain anonymous, said his two children had arrived at home with their grandparents, when they were accosted by four suspects, two of which were armed. The family was forced into the home and held hostage for over an hour until the man and his wife returned home. Only the elder of the two children was tied up. The gang said they wanted cash and jewellery and told the family, if they co-operated, they would be unharmed. Not wishing to anger the robbers, the family complied.
The gang ransacked the home and when the parents arrived, made off with the family’s 4 x 4 vehicle and the laptop.
The husband managed to press his panic button only after the robbers had left the house. When the RO arrived at the scene a couple of minutes later, he remained with the traumatised family while a back-up team searched the surrounding areas and located the stolen vehicle and the laptop. The vehicle had been abandoned a few kilometres from the home. Fortunately it had not been damaged in any way.
The SAPS arrived soon thereafter to take a statement from the family. As yet, no arrests have been made.
Obviously traumatised from the event, the family were grateful for the swift response and professionalism showed by Chubb Security during the aftermath of the event.
James Havenga, regional managing director for Chubb Security said the incident showed the importance of co-operating with suspects, remaining calm and most importantly, not trying to challenge them. “This story could have had a very different ending had the family not co-operated,” said Havenga. Chubb Security is part of UTC Fire and Security global providers of fire safety and security solutions to more than one million customers worldwide.