Elderly woman beaten during robbery
An elderly Port Elizabeth woman was severely beaten and her small dog stabbed to death during an early-morning house robbery in Central on Wednesday.
The attack on Margarita Peo, 85, was the second house robbery to take place during a three-hour period between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
The robbery left Peo so badly injured that she had to be taken to hospital after being attacked in her Gordon Terrace home by two men shortly before 1am.
Her son, Derrick, 57, said his mother could not speak because her mouth and tongue were swollen.
He said it was a mystery how the robbers had gained entry to the property, as it is protected with an electric fence and an alarm system.
Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Alwin Labans said the woman had been assaulted after the men confronted her inside her flatlet, which is at the back of the main house.
“It appears that they entered the flatlet through the sliding door.
“Once inside, the woman was threatened and cannot recall if they had firearms or weapons,” Labans said.
“They then told her to keep quiet and demanded valuables.
“They assaulted her and throttled her. Her hands and feet were then bound together while they ransacked the flat.”
Labans said Peo’s dog, which according to neighbours was a dachshund type dog, was killed by the robbers.
“The woman managed to alert her son, who lives in the main house, after the suspects fled,” Labans said.
She was taken to St George’s Hospital for treatment.
“She’s doing OK now,” a tired looking Derrick said on Wednesday afternoon.
“She’s sustained multiple fractures to her face and neck, but she’s well and the doctors say she’s not in danger of any kind. She’s under good care.”
He said he had not been able to sleep since the incident.
“I think my mother forgot to lock her security gate because it’s impossible for them to have come through using the front [of the house].
“They must have gained entry to our property using neighbouring properties because the electric fence [protecting the front of the house] is armed and the alarm did not go off,” Derrick said.
“The alarms work [and] the electric fence is on,” he said.
Labans said: “We are still looking into how exactly the suspects got in.”
A neighbour who did not want to be named said he had not heard any noises.
“I’m right next door and I have been living here for three years and I did not hear a thing,” the man said.
“It’s strange because I was awake at around 2.30am so I’m shocked. It’s so sad what happened to the old lady.”
Derrick said the robbers “stole a whole lot of things”.
Just three hours before Peo was attacked, a 13-year-old boy was threatened inside a house in Tulla Street in Richmond Hill.
“A lone attacker gained entry to the house at about 10pm on Tuesday.
“The man confronted the child in the bedroom and covered his face while threatening him with a knife,” Labans said.
“The suspect then grabbed a cellphone and camera before fleeing.”
Labans added that in both cases police were still determining if the sliding doors were locked or forced open.
Detectives were still ascertaining if the same suspects had been involved in both robberies.