ARMED ROBBERS got away with about R200 000 after storming a Pietermaritzburg businessman’s house, overpowering his family and staff, and spraying teargas on them before fleeing.
The five armed men attacked the family of Mohamed Shaikh at the corner of Bulwer and Fleet streets at around noon yesterday.
Shaikh was busy at his shop when he received a call to inform him about the incident. This was after intruders, who had jumped over a high fence, entered his house and assaulted his family members and two domestic workers. They also sprayed the victims with teargas before making off with the loot.
As the attackers were leaving the house, Shaikh’s son, Moosumand, was driving through the gateway. When three of the attackers pointed their firearms at him, Moosumand jumped out of the vehicle and ran for safety.
The criminals fled in his car.
It is believed that the other two attackers jumped into a red VW Jetta, which they had parked nearby.
“On hearing about the robbery in my house I became mad. I saw police driving past and I rushed to inform them. In less than 10 minutes my son’s vehicle was recovered,” said Shaikh.
He said he was still asking himself how the criminals entered his home, which is surrounded by a high fence and with a remote-controlled gate. A man who was cycling up Bulwer Street at the time said he heard women crying inside the house. “Then I saw a man pointing a gun at a VW Golf in front of the gate. The driver of the Golf jumped out of the vehicle and ran away. Both the Golf and the Jetta sped down Bulwer Road,” said the man who declined to give his name.
A paramedic who attended to the scene said Shaikh’s wife, daughter, grandchildren and two domestic workers were taken to Midlands and Northdale hospitals to be treated for shock.
Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan said the attackers assaulted Shaikh’s wife as they were demanding keys to the safe. He said they sprayed a five-year-old boy with teargas on the eyes.
“The criminals managed to get out of the hijacked vehicle and fled in East [Masukwana] Street . Only the VW Golf was recovered,” she said.