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Robbers: We do it because of poverty

A retired couple was robbed by three young men on Thursday

15 January 2013 | Gerhardt Theron

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“We do this because of poverty.”

These were the words of a robber when Mrs Sue du Plessis (77) asked him why they were being robbed.

Mr Andries du Plessis (84) and his wife were at their house opposite Aston Manor Primary School when one of the suspects knocked on their door and asked for directions to a school.

“I told him there was no such school in Kempton,” Du Plessis said. As Mrs du Plessis also approached the door, two more suspects came around the corner and forced the door open.

After a struggle the three suspects gained entry. The couple was forced to remain seated in their living room. One suspect stood guard while the other two cleared their home of goods, included sentimental jewellery, sports awards and a Volkswagen Kombi the couple used for their tourism business.

Mr Du Plessis managed to grab his taser but the robbers grabbed it from him before he could activate it. Although they have a panic button, he could not reach it.

“While sitting there I thought of taking on the suspect. I could’ve taken him out. I decided not to as the chances of taking the other two were a risk to both me and my wife,” Mr Du Plessis said.

Moments before the robbers left they locked them in their bedroom.

“Luckily a second door was open but by the time I got outside they were gone,” Mr Du Plessis said.

He said a neighbour had seen how men had marked his house in December. They use rubble, sticks or practically any goods which can be hidden in plain sight.

He said it was also frightening to know the street was filled with people as the school came out at that time and yet no one noticed.

He wanted to share these tips he gained through this experience with fellow Kemptonians: never keep keys to your inside doors in the doors; keep your car, house and other keys separate; don’t keep keys in the same place and don’t use key hangers.

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