A member of the Lorraine Neighbourhood Watch described how he gave chase when two suspects were seen leaving the house of an elderly Port Elizabeth woman who was lying in a pool of blood inside after a daylight robbery on Monday afternoon.
The robbery took place at about 1pm in Martha Street, in Kamma Park when two men scaled the perimeter gate.
The attack led to Lorraine Neighbourhood Watch members and traffic officials chasing the men from Kamma Park to Lorraine where they escaped.
The 86-year-old, who was semi-conscious, was rushed to hospital after she was found in a pool of blood inside the house.
Neighbourhood watch patrol member and Martha Street resident Gerrit Koen said he gave chase after he witnessed two men jumping over the perimeter gate.
“I was driving home when I saw the two men climbing over the gate with a big bag. As I stopped, they picked the bag up and started running away. I alerted the other neighbourhood watch members and gave chase,” he said.
“I caught up with them in Paulus Street and as I jumped out of my car to tackle one of the suspects, he dropped the bag.
“The two then carried on sprinting down the road and I grabbed the bag.”
Koen said that minutes after the robbery, he passed traffic official Suzette Ludick, who joined in the chase.
“We then carried on chasing after them, but they had disappeared.”
Lorraine Neighbourhood Watch chairman Peter Graham said when the call came through, several patrollers responded.
“Initially we thought it was only a burglary and were unaware that the resident inside had been attacked. While the chase was on, a patroller, Marco van Niekerk, found the woman inside the house.
“As Van Niekerk went into the house the elderly woman was found lying in the entrance hall covered in blood.
“She was semi-conscious and trying to talk,” he said.
He added that an ambulance and police were called to the scene.
Asked about the woman’s condition, Graham said she had been badly assaulted.
“At this stage, we are not sure if they used a weapon to beat her. She was talking but not making much sense at the time she was found,” he added.
Graham said CCTV cameras in the area had recorded the men’s escape.
An axe was found lying outside in the garden and a hammer inside the house.
Police spokesman Alwin Labans said an extensive search of the area was undertaken.
“At this stage, it is unclear how the men got into the house and what exactly was taken.
“The bag recovered during the chase contained several household appliances. This has all been recovered.”
Labans said that only once the woman was discharged, would they have more details on what exactly happened.
A case of house robbery is under investigation.