Friday, 27 August 2021

Brave old lady fights off armed suspect in White River Nelspruit

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Fidelity ADT urges residents to remain vigilant and arm their alarms even if they are at home. Residents need to be aware that criminals are becoming more brazen and we have seen an increase in the number of daytime robberies.

In the latest incident on 26 August Fidelity ADT responded to a panic alert from a plot in White River, Nelspruit at approximately 10:00.

Arriving just minutes after the panic signal alert, Fidelity ADT Reaction Officers found an old lady at the house, who informed them that she had just fought off an armed attacker. A scuffle had ensued and by some miracle she managed to disarm the attacker. The suspect had just fled the scene when the resident managed to press her panic button for help.

The Reaction Officer immediately called for assistance and a back up vehicle assisted by blocking off all the known escape routes in the immediate vicinity. Along with the Fidelity Specialist intervention unit, the officers started looking for the suspect who was apprehended about 2km from the scene and handed over to White River SAPS.

Joe de Bruyn, Fidelity ADT branch manager, says “These opportunistic criminals are aggressively trying to gain entry into peoples’ houses where electronics can be easily found. We urge residents to lock windows, gates and doors and carry your panic button when at home. Perimeter security should be your first layer of defence.

Fidelity ADT says plot and farm owners need to take heed of the following:

  • Tool sheds and outbuildings should not be left open as the housekeeping on the property is a perfect hideout for potential perpetrators.
  • It is important for plot owners to be part of their local commando’s and have radio communication with their neighbours.
  • All staff should be carefully screened and vetted regularly. “We actually recommend they take photographs of all employees and keep copies of their identity documents. It could be to your advantage to identify them later if required,” says de Bruyn.
  • Selling items such as vegetables, groceries, livestock etc. from these properties poses a huge threat due to the amount of through traffic. It is better to sell produce off site.
  • Do not employ casual workers without a reference.
  • Large dogs serve as a deterrent. At least one dog should be trained to sleep inside the house. Outside dogs can be vulnerable to poisoning however so where they are kept needs to be carefully planned.
  • A sturdy security gate that separates the living area from the bedrooms is a must as this will give you time to protect yourself or activate a panic button.
  • Install proper movement activated perimeter lights around the house that shine outward from the house.

“Larger properties are always much harder to secure so it is vital that a proper risk assessment is done to identify any weak areas. Personal safety is always paramount. In this case the resident was lucky she was unharmed. As a rule we urge farm or plot owners never to go outside if they suspect there are intruders on the property. We have seen too many incidences where residents have been tragically killed. Rather rely on the technology and professional security support to protect the family. It is also beneficial to develop a good relationship with your neighbours and schedule emergency training days with them so the community can watch out for each other,” concludes de Bruyn.

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Compiled on behalf of Fidelity ADT by Cathy Findley Public Relations, for media queries contact Jacqui Moloi on 071 764 8233