Elderly couple attacked and robbed in Smithfield, Free State

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An alleged robber shot himself in the head after an elderly couple was attacked and robbed at a farm in Smithfield, south-east of Bloemfontein, Free State police said on Tuesday.

Police spokesperson Constable Peter Kareli said the couple was attacked on New Year’s eve.

“It is alleged that two unknown males entered the farm house at about 16:00 on the 31st December 2018 and made to the couple`s bedroom whilst they were taking a nap. They allegedly started assaulting them with a steel rod, demanding money and firearms.”

He said the pair managed to access the safe and stole four firearms and ammunition.

The alarm went off and local farmers, as well as Smithfield police officials, reacted swiftly.

“One of the suspects was spotted trying to jump over the fence carrying a bag. He allegedly dropped the bag and jumped over into a muddy wet land surrounded by long grass. Farmers and local police surrounded the area and whilst approaching the area a single gunshot was heard from the direction of the long grass.

“As the police approached to investigate, they found a male person with a gunshot wound to the forehead. One of the suspected stolen firearms was found next to the deceased and the other one was found in the bag the deceased dropped whilst trying to jump over the fence.”

The second man fled in the couple’s vehicle and is still at large.

“Smithfield police request communities in the nearby towns to be vigilant and not to approach the suspect as he is armed and dangerous.

“Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the suspect can contact Detective W/O David Tshupa on 071 442 9851 or Smithfield Police Station on 051 683 6216/17 or crime stop line 0860010111,” he said.

A case of armed robbery and inquest has been opened.

The Boere Krisis Aksie (BKA) said the farming couple were allegedly stabbed with knives. The man was seriously injured and had to be operated on while the woman was slightly injured.

Meanwhile, three armed men who made off with an undisclosed amount of money after a tuck-shop was robbed in Zamdela near Sasolburg, have been arrested.

Constable Peter Kareli said the three aged between 23 and 36 allegedly robbed a tuck-shop on December 28.

He said the shop owner, his bother and an employee were offloading groceries at the shop, when three unknown armed men attacked the brother and shot him in the leg.

“The other two pushed him inside the shop where they also instructed the employee as well as the owner to move to the backroom and locked them in [The] suspects took an undisclosed amount of cash and fled the scene.”

The injured man was rushed to hospital for medical treatment and cases of armed robbery and attempted murder were opened.

On New Year’s eve, Zamdela detectives together with Sasolburg K9 unit followed up on information received and went to a house in Walter Sisulu section in Zamdela where they found three unknown males.

“Whilst searching the house, a Z88 pistol and a toy gun was found hidden in the house. All three suspects aged between 23 and 36, were arrested and will appear in the Sasolburg Magistrate’s Court soon. The suspects might be linked to four other similar cases of business robbery.”

African News Agency (ANA) / The Citizen