Wednesday, November 04, 2009

SA Crime - Kill first, then the victim cannot resist"

A woman was shot three times during a robbery in the parking lot of a business in Sliverton, Pretoria East. Amazingly, she survived.

Saartjie Koen was meant to die. A robber had grabbed her around the neck, put a pistol to her head and pulled the trigger.

Instead the bullet grazed Koen's skull, knocking her to the ground. Her assailants grabbed her handbag, then ran off, one of them pausing to kick her in the head as he made his escape.

The robbery, captured on closed-circuit television, took less than a minute from the time Koen drove into the car park to when the three robbers climbed back into their white VW Golf.

Miraculously, Koen, 60, who was left lying in the driveway, was alive after being shot three times in the leg, arm and head. Two months later Koen is still recovering, but no one has been arrested for the robbery that took place in Silverton, Tshwane. It is for this reason that her husband Hannes opted to hire a private investigator.

Now Daryl Els, of Christian Botha Investigations, believes he is on the trail of a gang of robbers who operate from Tembisa and specialise in what police refer to as associated robberies.

This involves robbing victims after they leave a bank having withdrawn a large amount of cash. The gang has, over several months, targeted Pretoria's eastern suburbs. Els wants to talk to an 18-year-old woman called Nombuso Nkosi who he believes could have information about the robbery. She lives in Tembisa.

In August, Koen, on her way to work, was followed from a Silverton branch of Absa Bank after she had withdrawn R50 000. Afterwards she drove to her family business, Trio Trade. As she parked her car, she didn't notice the white Golf pull up outside the gate.

One of the men knocked out the security guard.

"As I was getting out of the car, the two were on me. They didn't talk, they just shot," Koen recalled.

One of the robbers fired twice, hitting Koen in the right leg and left arm. The man tried to grab her handbag, but Koen fought back. Then his accomplice came up behind her, put his arm around her neck and shot her.

Just metres away, in his office, Hannes saw what was happening. He saw the gun pushed against her head, and a puff of smoke as the bullet left the barrel. "At that moment I thought she was dead," he said. But Koen was conscious.

"I was fine. I was screaming 'please help'. There was blood streaming from me," she said. Seconds later, her husband rushed her to hospital.

What can be seen in the CCTV footage is another vehicle, believed to be a white Toyota Venture, following the Golf.

"The Venture probably had the spotter, who identified the target," said Els.

The usual modus operandi is that the spotter watches out for a target in the bank, then leaves the bank and passes on the information to the robbers, who commit the crime.

Police say associated robberies are on the increase, as criminals are finding bank customers softer targets than cash-in-transit vans.

They are also more violent.

Police believe the gang that tried to kill Koen is probably the same one operating from Tembisa responsible for a spate of robberies. The gang is believed to have more than 20 members.

Koen will go into surgery on November 13. She hopes to regain full use of her wrist.

4 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

The gate guard was not rendered unconscious. He is seen standing up at the same time the hijackers leave the premises. Moreover, watch how he halts closing the gate, even before the robbers have disembarked from the vehicle.

Anonymous said...

Agree VI. He saw the car pull up and instead of slamming the gate closed and shouting out a warning he stops closing it and let's them in.

John G Kerlen said...

I've put this video on my blog, if you guys wouldn't mind linking to it I'd appreciate it.


Anonymous said...

The guard is in on it.