Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Another new crime tactic: Shock and Awe

Stay informed, stay alert, keep ahead of the trends.

Watch your domestic workers! This story involves another domestic worker.

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Johannesburg residents are facing a new robbery modus operandi called the "shock and awe" tactic.

This is according to corporate investigations group SSG, which says house robbers utilise tactics that involve rushing into a home with such aggression that they put their victims into a state of shock, unable to resist.

But, says SSG CEO Mitchell Graaf, the trend is not as horrific as it would appear, as criminals are not looking to kill, but take items they can make a profit from.

"The silver lining to an otherwise gloomy cloud is that criminals perpetrating home invasions are professionals whose aim is profit, not murder," Graaf said.

On July 18, Nicholas Green*, a Bryanston resident, was at home with his daughter and domestic worker when a group of armed robbers stormed into his lounge.

The gang tied up Green, his daughter and domestic with cable ties in the main bedroom. Meanwhile, a family member returned home, and she was assaulted.

"Being able to do absolutely nothing while my family was being traumatised in front of my very eyes filled me with equal measures of despair and rage. It was at that point that I decided we had to live through this experience, because I was going to make these thugs pay," Green said.

The gang ransacked his home, but Green noticed specific valuable household appliances had been stolen.

"It was as if they came prepared with a shopping list, and they even thought to bring a four-ton truck to cart everything away."

Green hired SSG to aid police investigations, which revealed the robbery was possibly an inside job by their domestic worker or one of her relatives.

Green said his domestic worker's cellphone had rung and she answered it during the attack, but the robbers had not taken it away or demanded to know who was calling.

Police found there was no forced entry through the driveway gate.

The domestic was taken in for questioning, and confessed her son may have been involved.

He was put under surveillance, Green's car movements were tracked and cellphone records of people associated with the son were investigated.

A chase by the SAPS and Green's vehicle-tracking firm ended in Tembisa when four suspects rolled the car and fled on foot.

See also;
New crime: Rape Blackmail
Thieves fool house alarms with umbrellas

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