Armed with just a paintball pistol and nerves of steel, a Port Elizabeth father managed to chase two masked burglars from his Seaview Road residence in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Wikus Kruger, 45, his wife Reinette, 40, and their two teenage children said yesterday they were still “slightly rattled” following the terrifying two-minute ordeal which unfolded on their smallholding in the Colleen Glen area at about 1.45am.
Kruger said nothing aside from some left over braai meat had been stolen and no one had been injured during the terrifying ordeal. The only damage to the property was to the oven’s tempered glass, which shattered when Kruger fired his Tippermann TipX paintball pistol at the men.
That would be Kruger’s first, but not last shot at the robbers.
Kruger, an insurance investigator, said he had bought the gun about five years ago while he was a member of the Bluewater Bay neighbourhood watch.
He added that the pistol used hard plastic pellets as ammunition. Reinette said the ordeal could have ended very differently had it not been for their Jack Russell, Lilah.
The six-year-old dog woke the household with her barking as two balaklava-clad men sifted through items in the bar – less than five metres from where the children were sleeping.
“I heard the dog barking, so I went to see what was going on. I just walked out of our room into the lounge and saw one of the men, who told me to ‘shhh’. I saw a second guy behind him with a weapon which was either a panga or a crowbar . . . I went cold, and realised I had to get to my husband before they got to me or my kids,” she said.
Kruger, who suffers from sleep apnea, said once he had removed his sleeping apparatus he too went to inspect the barking.
“As I exited our room my wife was coming back to call me. I had my gun which I keep next to my bed, in my hand. When I got into the passage the one saw I had a gun and ran for a window near the back door,” Kruger said.
“I chased them down the passage and towards the kitchen, I shot the first shot which missed and hit the oven.
“They had removed the entire window, so when I came around the corner the one guy had already jumped through.
“But the second was only half way out, so I shot him several times in the torso. He collapsed on the window pane and his friend dragged him before they ran into the bush . . . I am just glad no one was injured. God had His hand over us.”
Farm Comm chairman Willie Bosch said at least 20 of their patrollers had scanned the surrounding bushes at about 2.30am, but to no avail.
Police spokesman Captain Johan Rheeder said the police were searching for the two suspects.