Intruders struck twice over two days in Sunningdale’s Peach Tree Crescent, assaulting and robbing a 57-year-old woman and leaving her badly shaken.
She doesn’t want to be identified but told how she had arrived at her home at 4pm, on Thursday November 8, to find a car – she describes it as white with broken windows – parked in the driveway.
The woman’s husband described what happened next.
“My wife parked her car in the street and went up to the car to tell the driver she couldn’t get into her garage. He didn’t say a word. He started reversing his car. That’s when two men jumped over our wall and started assaulting her,” he said.
One of the assailants, he said, had had a screwdriver in his hand, and his wife had been pushed around, slapped and had her clothes torn.
“They had her up against the wall, and she was screaming. That’s when a neighbour from across the road came out of his garage and saw what was happening. He ran into his house to call the police.”
The men fled with the woman’s cellphone and jewellery.
“The jewellery belonged to my wife’s late mother so it had sentimental value,” he said.
The couple found a sliding door had been lifted off its rail and a security gate’s slam lock broken.
A TV had been unscrewed from the wall and all their belongings had been thrown out of the cupboards.
“They must have been looking for a safe,” he said.
A bag stuffed with the couple’s clothes was lying at the gate, and their boerboel was found cowering in a corner in the garden.
“They must have intimidated the dog. I couldn’t get him to move,” he said.
Another Peach Tree Crescent home was hit just a day earlier.
Brett Marshall, who works night shift, was home at 3pm when he heard a loud bang.
He went to the front of the house to investigate and saw a man “hammering” away at the side gate.
He couldn’t make out what the man was using to force the gate open.
He counted three men but said there could have been a fourth waiting in a nearby car with tinted windows.
“I shouted at them and they immediately stopped what they were doing and got into the car and left,” he said.
He took a picture of the men as they fled the crescent and shared it on Facebook.
“The police told me the car was registered to someone in Philippi,” said Mr Marshall.
Table View police spokeswoman Captain Adriana Chandler said both cases had been reported at the station.
Thefts from cars and burglaries were common crimes in the Sunningdale area, she said.
“The community is urged never to confront suspicious persons but rather call the police,” she said.
Laura Outhet, Table View Neighbourhood Watch spokeswoman, shared some safety tips with the community.
“We urge all of those who work and live in the area to practise the simple and obvious rule of ‘stranger danger’. Always be alert and aware of your surrounding. If there is a strange vehicle in your driveway, do not approach it. Drive past and lock your doors and immediately call SAPS or your armed response company.
“If you think you are being followed, drive to the nearest police station. Memorise all your emergency numbers and know exactly where to look if you have forgotten,” said Ms Outhet.
She said people should consider joining Table View Neighbourhood Watch and becoming a radio-linked member.
“This way, if there is an emergency, one can announce this on the radio network, and others will respond,” she said.