By Graeme Hosken
burglar was shot dead and two others arrested after a cat-and-mouse game
between police, community members and the suspects in one of Pretoria's most
Yesterday's killing and arrests occurred shortly
after an Eldoraigne resident, who had just returned from a business trip
to Germany, spotted three men
breaking into his neighbour's house.
The businessman, who asked not
to be named, was standing at his front door when a white BMW, which had
been stolen in Joburg earlier this month, stopped outside his
The man walked to his front gate to investigate. As he got
to the gate the suspects, unperturbed, reversed into his neighbour's
garden, parked, got out of the car, put on gloves and took a pick-axe head
from the boot and broke into the house. "When I saw them stop and put on
gloves and take out the axe, I knew they were not here for tea," he
his house the businessman pushed the panic button hoping the suspects
would be scared. Instead, the men casually strolled back to the car and
reversed into a cul-de-sac before they stopped and waited to see if anyone
When, after waiting for 10 minutes in the car and neither
police, nor alarm companies responded, the men returned to their
"When I saw them come back to my neighbour's house I
immediately took down their vehicle registration and telephoned
"I could hear them breaking open a gate and smashing open a
door. I phoned my alarm company and several others and told them what was
Within minutes the road was sealed off and police and
security guards searched the house.
One of the men, believed to
have been the getaway driver, jumped over a wall and ran to his car with
police in pursuit.
When the man refused to surrender and tried to
resist arrest by getting into the BMW and driving off, a policeman opened
fire, shooting the suspect twice in the chest.
Fatally wounded, the
man continued to drive and crashed into the wall of a business on the
corner of Willem Botha and Caley streets.
Collapsing to the ground
when he tried to run from the badly damaged car, the man died before
The dead suspect's alleged accomplices were
arrested by police and security guards moments later. They had been hiding
in the gardens of neighbouring homes after being chased over several
The businessman said he was astounded by what had
"I definitely didn't expect this on my first day back.
Maybe on the second day, but definitely not on the day I returned," he
He added that he was grateful that he had been able
to help stop the crime by raising the alarm.
station spokeswoman Captain Agnes Huma, whose police precinct is the
fourth most dangerous in the country when in comes to house robberies,
said the two suspects would appear in court soon on charges of burglary
and possession of housebreaking equipment.
She said the suspect who
was shot dead refused to surrender and tried to resist arrest. "No more
arrests are expected although investigations are continuing," she