Whinsley Masara, Chronicle Reporter
THREE men who were armed with guns and tasers pounced at a farmhouse in Colleen Bawn and got away with more than $1 000 and two cellphones after firing a warning shot, police confirmed yesterday.
The suspects, who are on the run, broke into the house located at Burntkraal Farm on Wednesday at around 8PM and threatened occupants by firing a shot into the roof before temporarily paralysing them using tasers.
A source at the farm who preferred anonymity said family members who were in the house surrendered all the cash they had at home and in their tuck-shop, as well as their cell phones.
The source said it is suspected that the armed robbers are the ones who also broke into a house at Mapheza Mine last week, threatened mine employees by firing a shot into the roof before getting away with gold and cash worth more than $3 000.
“It is suspected that the gang is behind other robberies in the same area. They use the same modus operandi. We suspect it is one gang which is terrorising the community,” said the source.
The source said when the robbers pounced at the house at Burntkraal Farm, the owner, Mr James Matshe, was sleeping in the bedroom while his wife and son were counting money in the sitting room.
“The trio asked about Matshe’s whereabouts, pretending to be his business associates. His suspicious wife told them to leave immediately. One of them drew a pistol from his back and threatened them, demanding cash,” he said.
One of the armed robbers, said the source, fired a gun shot into the roof demanding money.
“They quickly produced over $700 that they had hidden and handed it over to the robbers. The other two robbers produced tasers and electrocuted the woman and her son, demanding more money. They also took away the woman’s cell phone.
“Fearing for her family’s lives, the woman then went to the tuckshop and collected more than $300 and handed it over. When they returned to the house from the tuck-shop they found Matshe, who had been awakened by the gun shot, now in the sitting room,” said the source.
“They electrocuted him too as they searched his pockets and only found his cellphone which they took away. They disappeared into the dark after the armed robbery and haven’t been arrested yet.”
Matabeleland South police spokesperson Inspector Philisani Ndebele confirmed the incident.
He said no arrests have been made so far and investigations are underway.
“Three unidentified men broke into a home in Colleen Bawn and robbed family members of more than $1 000 and two cellphones. They also used some tasers to electrocute the family members.
“The robbers are at large and we are appealing to members of the public with information that may lead to the arrest of these suspects to assist the police,” said Insp Ndebele.
He warned members of the public against keeping cash at their homes or business premises as this attracts robbers.
“We urge members of the public to bank their money and avoid keeping valuables with them. We also warn people not to resist armed robbers’ instructions to avoid being killed or injured,” Insp Ndebele said.