Victim discovered two days after attack and robbery

A longtime resident of White River lay helpless in her house for two days after being attacked and injured by robbers. Police suspect that Ms Pinky Strydom (87) was heading into her house on Saturday morning when she was overpowered by the suspects.

She was discovered on Monday at around 11:30 by her grandson, Mr Roelof Duvenhage who had gone to visit her. According to White River SAPS spokesman WO Gugu Phiri, he rang the bell and knocked but when he received no reply, jumped over the gate.

Duvenhage then saw that the front door was open, but the security gate was closed and locked.

Suspicious about the unusual state of affairs, he walked around the house and to his great shock spotted Strydom through her bedroom window, lying motionless on the bed.

He called out to her and touched her through the window, causing her to scream in panic. She was unable to move and her grandson had to break open the front door’s security gate to gain access.

Upon entering he spotted blood stains on the garage floor and in the bedroom, leading him to believe that his grandmother was injured. He then contacted the White River Police for assistance.

Strydom was unable to speak to the police on Monday and was rushed to Mediclinic Nelspruit as soon as officers arrived at the scene.

On Tuesday afternoon she was still in the ICU and in a stable condition. No further information was available regarding her injuries.

Phiri says the robbers stole a television, cellphone and handbag.

The police are currently investigating a case of house robbery and anyone with information that may lead to the arrest of the suspects can contact WO Hendrik Grobler on 082-655-6591.

Business and house robberies have increased over the past few months and police urge residents to be vigilant and cooperate with police and security companies to catch these criminals.

The White River Community Policing Forum (CPF) has also warned residents to be wary of suspicious activity around their property and to engage their security alarms at night or after returning home from work.

Other security precautions that can be taken:

• Clear away any unnecessary brush and plants in your garden

• Keep a few outside lights on at night or set them on a timer

• Join the White River CPF and its radio network (especially if you live outside town)

• Ensure that all windows have burglar bars and keep them closed at night

• Always lock your doors, especially when home alone.

To report a crime or suspicious activity, contact the White River Police Station on 013-750-0888.

Retha Nel

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