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23 November 2011 at 14:10 - Posted by Anonymous

Security firm answers after three calls


Brigitte and Hans-Rudolf Stern at their Kelvin, Sandton, home after being robbed and beaten. Photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

Brigitte Stern’s party for her 68th birthday was interrupted by home invaders who pistol-whipped her husband while she frantically tried to get an armed response security company to answer the phone.

“Why are they so brutal? My husband is 70 years old – why must they hit him in the face with a gun? Why don’t they leave the old people alone?” asked Stern.

The gang held up her husband Hans-Rudolf in the street outside their Kelvin, Sandton, home on Saturday evening, when he was seeing off some of the 20 women who had been celebrating Stern’s 68th birthday with them.

“When he opened the side gate, there was a man with a big gun standing there. He held the gun to his head,” said Brigitte.

The attackers – three or four men – wanted cash, jewellery, handbags and a car. The party handed over whatever they had without arguing.

“I attempted to activate the panic alarm, but was threatened with my life. I somehow managed to sneak upstairs to my bedroom and call ADT for help,” said Brigitte.

“Please, if you will, imagine my astonishment when I called the 0861 number, pressed 1 for a life-threatening emergency, and no one answered the phone.”

She redialled, but again got no answer. On the third attempt, her call was answered.

“During this time, I heard one of the robbers beating my husband. Had my call been answered promptly on the first attempt to call you, perhaps my husband would not have sustained as much beating as he did.”

Hans-Rudolf was beaten about the head with a gun and suffered head injuries. He was treated at hospital and discharged on the same day, but was then readmitted with bleeding on the brain and discharged again on Monday.

”He is alright now,” she said. She said that once her call was answered, the response by ADT staff and the police was good.

Roy Rawlins, managing director of ADT central region, said they would meet Brigitte today to address her concerns.

Captain Kym Cloete confirmed that a case had been opened with the police. She said no arrests had been made. - The Star

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