A FLOODGATE of memories was opened when the trial of the four suspects, accused of attempted robbery at the home of surfing doyen, Cheron Kraak in August 2009, started in Port Elizabeth this week.
Our Times reported at the time how vigilance, a pro-active plan and teamwork foiled the attempted robbery.
The incident caused quite a stir at the time.
Kraak had apparently received street information about the intended robbery and had worked closely with the Jeffreys Bay police, crime intelligence and her own security people.
She said at the time “I was shocked and scared and I knew I had to act immediately. That was when I brought in my own security.”
The formidable team managed to infiltrate the gang of robbers.
Provided with information from the gang about the best possible route to Kraak’s home, they could give the police the opportunity to waylay the white Toyota Quantum the robbers were using.
At the turn-off to Aston Bay in Woltemade Street the heavily armed suspects apparently realised they had been set-up and tried to get rid of their ammunition, including a R4 and R5 rifle both with full magazines, a Z88 pistol, a bolt cutter, various items of clothing and balaclavas.
They were eventually apprehended on the corner of St Francis and Woltemade Streets in Jeffreys Bay after a scuffle reminicent of a wild west movie.
When the case got under way this week in the Port Elizabeth Regional Court, Kraak was unable to attend as she recently had knee surgery.
She was not available for comment.
On Monday, Warrant Officer Daniel le Roux of Jeffreys Bay told how he and his colleagues had foiled the heist.
He said he had been on duty when he received a call from a superior about the planned robbery that evening.
“I got a call from an inspector who said something was going to take place and we must be on standby.
“A colleague and I drove to an informal settlement in Govan Mbeki Street, where we waited for further orders regarding the description of the vehicle the suspects were to use.”
Le Roux said they had later spotted a white Toyota Quantum with five occupants, including a police agent.
He switched on his vehicle’s blue light and siren and followed at high speed.
“I noticed one of the occupants throw a brown bag out of the window. When we finally caught up with them near St Francis, the suspects were ordered to lie on the ground and searched,” he said.
Yesterday Constable Moses Mange took to the witness stand and told how he saw a brown item thrown out of a speeding white Quantum, which police believe was used by the robbers.
“We tried to stop the Quantum by activating the blue light and siren but the driver did not want to stop at the four way stop. We also decided to accelerate. Soon, my partner and I saw dust when the brown item was thrown outside. We did not stop but instead, we radioed our colleagues from behind to look for it,” Ma d about 400 meters away from where the police stopped the Quantum
Sergeant Leon Nel of the Humansdorp Dog Unit testified of a briefing session from their seniors regarding the operation which was take place that evening.
He said he and his partner waited at Tokyo Sexwale Township for further instructors.
“Soon we were given the description of the Quantum and that it was moving toward the direction of the (traffic) circle. We followed it and the blue light was on but failed to stop,” he said.
Subsequently, Nel said he and his colleague finally overtook the Quantum and forced it out of the road. He opened the drivers door and ordered him to lie on the ground.
The trial continues. – Additional reporting by Hendrick Mphande