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Two-year-old safely returned after being snatched from father’s arms

It took a specialised police task team less than two days to find two-year-old Tensy Defar, who was snatched from his father’s arms during a business robbery at a restaurant in Dunnottar on August 27

Tensy was returned to his family on August 29 where the relief was written all over the faces of his parents, Abbebe and Halmaz.
“The four men visited our restaurant several times over the weekend, where they ate breakfast and lunch. We served them food on Saturday and Sunday,” the relieved father explained.


“They returned on Sunday night – not to eat, but to rob us. They came with weapons and took our child”.


After the robbery and kidnapping, Abbebe’s brother phoned one of the cellphones that was stolen in the robbery and the call was answered by an Ethiopian man.



“This man claimed ransom of R500 000 for my child, but when we tried to phone again, it was switched off,” Abbebe said.


Police, however, traced the phone’s signal which brought them to the house in Everton, Johannesburg where they found the toddler.
Meanwhile, two suspects (aged 25 and 29) were arrested in connection with the robbery and kidnapping and are expected to appear in Nigel Magistrate’s Court soon.
The robbery occurred around 22:00 when the four armed men stormed the restaurant and robbed the Defars at gunpoint.
Apart from the phones, the suspects also demanded cash and as they were about to make their getaway, one of the men snatched little Tensy from his father’s arms.
The robbers sped off in a silver Toyota Corolla after which the wide-spread search for the toddler commenced.
Ekurhuleni cluster commander Maj Gen Girly Mbele immediately composed a task team consisting of TRT members, cluster detectives from the TRIO Task Team, a VISPOL TRIO Task Team and Cluster Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) team to investigate the kidnapping.
“After a sleepless night of searching, police acted on information received from a community member,” police spokesman Captain Thivhulawi Tshilate said in a statement.


Police do an outstanding job

“Thorough investigations conducted by task team leader Det W/O Piet Malaka led the police to a house in Everton North. Upon arrival, two South African women were found babysitting the child,” he added.
After interviewing two women, police discovered that Tensy was brought to them by an Ethiopian tenant who had allegedly asked them to look after the child for a while.
The women directed police to the tenant who was unable to provide and explanation of how he ended up with the toddler. The man and his accomplice were charged with robbery and kidnapping.
Maj Gen Mbele thanked the task team for their speedy investigation and the media for providing assistance through various forms of publication.
For the time being, the restaurant will remain closed for business while family recovers from the ordeal. Abbebe, who had been in the country for the past six years, said he had never felt so threatened or scared in his life.
The investigation into the robbery and kidnapping is continuing as two suspects are still at large. Maj Gen Mbele has appealed to anyone with information on the whereabouts of the remaining suspects, to contact their nearest police station or Crime Stop on 08600 10111, or to send an sms to 32211.

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