Six people suspected of robbing a father and his two sons on a farm in the Malmesbury region were arrested by police on Saturday night, with the assistance of local farmers in their bakkies.
“Seven armed suspects confronted two brothers – aged 17 and 20 – and their father at their residence and attacked them,” said Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut.
“They fled the scene with personal effects. Approximately 3km from the crime scene, six of the seven suspects were arrested by police.
“They are aged between 23 and 27. The seventh suspect who evaded arrest is being sought.”
A large group of anti-crime volunteers from farms in the Malmesbury area helped the police, according to wheat farmer Truter de Kock.
He said that farmers and farmworkers had developed a good safety network and about 40 bakkies had sped off to help the police when they heard about the attack on Saturday.
The farmers used their vehicles to light up the search areas, and also helped cordon off roads.
De Kock said that this kind of response by the community was paying off because, as recently as Friday, a group of thieves making off with Eskom cables had been stopped in their tracks by farmworkers and arrested by police.
Another supporter of the farm action groups, Deon Moore, said they did not have the right to stop and search anybody, but they knew the police were short-staffed, so they helped in any other way that they could.
In addition to lighting areas for police, they also position themselves at key points to take note of number plates and people passing through.
A panic button and a spare phone ready to go straight through to the police are also vital to raise the alarm.
While the six were preparing for their court appearance, another attack took place on a smallholding in the Malmesbury region in the early hours of Monday morning.
A couple was woken up by the sound of somebody at their door. They were tied up and one of them was injured on the head. Police are still searching for the robbers who made off with several items from the house.
Last Monday, Clanwilliam police also attended to a house robbery after five men entered the premises through an unlocked door and threatened a man and his family with a firearm and a sharp object.
The five robbers fled in a vehicle they stole from the scene, taking with them electronic equipment and a cellphone.
Police followed leads and arrested two people in Piketberg, with the stolen property.
Police asked that anybody with information on where the other three were hiding to call Clanwilliam police on 027 482 5800 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.