Family robbed at PE guest cottage
A family from Lesotho were visiting the Bay when two men broke into their guest cottage
A family from Lesotho who were visiting Port Elizabeth over the weekend were attacked during an early morning robbery at a cottage in Walmer on Monday.
The attack happened shortly after midnight at a self-catering cottage on the corner of Villiers Road and 8th Avenue in Walmer.
According to police, the family – a mother, father and their teenage daughter - had come to Port Elizabeth to look for accommodation for their daughter, who was going to study in Port Elizabeth next year.
Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said that the 52-year-old father woke up after hearing his 18-year-old daughter screaming.
“The daughter was sitting in the lounge on her cellphone when she turned around and was confronted by two men. The one man grabbed her cellphone which is when she started to scream. While screaming, another suspect tried to put his hand over her mouth, resulting in her biting him,” Naidu said.
“The father woke to the noise and when he went to investigate, he confronted the two suspects in the lounge.”
A scuffle ensued between the father-daughter pair and the suspects.
“During the altercation, one suspect ran away. However, the father managed to grab the second suspect. This led to the father being stabbed in the upper body with a knife. During the commotion, the suspect then threw the cellphone at the father and fled.”
The suspects fled empty handed.
Naidu said that no signs of forced entry could be found.“It appears that one of the doors had been left unlocked which is how they got into the cottage.”
Police suspect that the suspects scaled the perimeter wall – which is surrounded by an electric fence - to gain entry into the yard.
Naidu said that the father was treated by medics on the scene and later drove to a hospital for treatment.
By midday yesterday police said the family had already left the Bay.
Cottage owner Pieter Wolmarans said that the cottage was separate from the main house and usually part of a long term rental.
Wolmarans said that when there was no long-term lease in place, the units were rented out for short-term rentals.
“They had booked in for two days. It looks like they (the suspects) managed to open a window and probably get the keys to unlock the door. We are not sure how they got in,” he said.
“There was a confrontation (inside the cottage) and it appears that they (the attackers) tried to stab him (the father).
He was not seriously injured but had a graze on his chest area. He did go to (hospital) Emergency Room and they cleaned the wound and patched him up.”
Asked if they were going to beef up security, Wolmarans said that they did have an alarm system which was also connected to the electric fence.
“It appears the fence did not activate when they entered but when they left the alarm tripped,” he said.
Wolmarans said that he was going to be looking into other security features to assist with preventing any other incidents.
“This is the first time this has happened. Everyone is obviously shaken up but I am just glad no one was seriously hurt,” he said.
Naidu said that a case of attempted murder and attempted robbery was being investigated by police.
Last month, a 25-year-old woman from Durban was attacked inside the Ibhayi Town Lodge in Main Road, Walmer.
The incident took place shortly after 1am when the woman woke up to robbers attempting to open the bedroom door to her suite.
After she ran out screaming for help, the suspects grabbed a laptop which was lying inside the bedroom and fled.
The suspects also gained entry to the premises by scaling the electric perimeter fence.
The onsite security gave chase but the suspects escaped.
In January, Mthethuvumile Mcopele, 31, allegedly tried to rob a father and son, aged 87 and 65, inside a flatlet at the Pine Tree Lodge and Guest House in Union Road, Walmer.
Mcopele, who was allegedly armed with a knife when he climbed through a bathroom window into the flatlet, died during a scuffle with the two men, who are both from Gauteng.
One of the men’s cellphones was allegedly found in a Mcopele's jacket pocket.
Mcopele's hands were tied behind his back and he was lying on a bed.
According to the postmortem, Mcopele died from “force to the neck” but police have declined to say if that meant he had been strangled.
Naidu said that detectives were investigating if it was the same suspects linked to all three robberies.