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Big reward offered for information on Alicedale farm robbery

Community contributes R250,000 to help trace and arrest suspects who held up couple

A substantial reward is on offer for information that leads to the arrest of five suspects that robbed a couple on their farm near Alicedale last week
SEEKING INFORMATION: A substantial reward is on offer for information that leads to the arrest of five suspects that robbed a couple on their farm near Alicedale last week
Image: KRISONEALPHOTOGRAPHY/123RF.COM

A quarter-of-a-million rand is up for grabs in exchange for information resulting in the arrest and conviction of a group that robbed an Alicedale farm last week.

The reward is thanks to the generosity of concerned neighbours and community members after married couple Andri and Erica Fox were robbed of firearms, cash and other valuables.

Erica said on Wednesday that as soon as word spread about the incident, everyone had wanted to help with the search.

“Those that could not help physically offered us money to help with the search effort.

“Now we still have some money pooled and we decided the best would be to offer it as a reward, and hopefully someone comes forward with information,” she said.

Erica, 48, and her husband Andri, 49, were at home on April 14, watching television just after 7pm, when the robbers entered the house and forced them to open their safe.

An American guest, who had been visiting their farm on a hunting safari, was on the phone in another part of the house, and when he saw what was happening, fled and ran to a neighbouring nature reserve.

He was later found unharmed.

The robbers took two shotguns, a 9mm-pistol and a .38-revolver.

They also stole about $1,000 in cash, a cellphone and jewellery.

The total value of the stolen items was about R110,000. 

Erica and Andri were unharmed.

Sarah Baartman acting district commissioner Brigadier John le Bok immediately established a task team to investigate the incident, but  the robbers are still on the loose.

Erica said they were grateful for the quick response from the community and the way everyone had banded together to assist.

“Loodt Buchner from Tootabi Hunting Safaris immediately created groups on WhatsApp and everyone started circulating information.

“Through these groups, we started gathering resources that could help with the investigation,” she said.

“Some of the money went towards fuel for the helicopter brought in to track the suspects.

“Money was still coming in, and we started talking about the possibility of offering a reward.”

Eardley Rudman, vice-president of the Professional Hunters' Association of SA, offered to keep the money in an account specifically allocated for similar situations.

Word spread and money started coming in.

A total of R250,000 has since been deposited into the account.  

“We are incredibly grateful for all the individuals and organisations that have contributed to this cause.

“And a special thanks to everyone who helped in some way on the night of the robbery,” Erica said.

Andri also thanked the Shamwari Anti-Poaching Unit for its assistance.

Asked how they were doing after their ordeal, Erica said they were taking it one day at a time.

“I can’t help but feel a little anxious when it starts getting dark.

“But you can’t live in fear.

“We have made some security upgrades for our own peace of mind, and we will keep moving forward.”

She said her only regret was knowing that their firearms were now in the hands of criminals.

“I know it’s not our fault, but I can’t help but feel horrible that those firearms will probably be used to commit other crimes now.

“That idea haunts me.”

Anyone with information about the robbery should contact the Alicedale police station on: 042-231-1154. 

HeraldLIVE

 

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