Cape Town - The wheels of justice turned for a train robber who got a beating from commuters on a packed carriage. The robber snatched a woman’s cellphone on a Metrorail train on Thursday morning and tried to jump carriages when he was tackled by passengers and beaten with a rod.
A cellphone video posted to Facebook shows the young man being attacked by commuters. The incident happened between Eerste River station and Melton Rose Station in Eerste River at 7.40am on Thursday. Witnesses say the man was handed over to Metrorail security guards at Melton Rose station.
But it appears the public’s heroics were in vain as police have no record of an arrest. Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut said the matter was not reported to Kleinvlei SAPS, the nearest police station to Montrose Station.
Traut said: “Kindly be advised that Kleinvlei police has no record of an arrest in this regard.” On the video, recorded by a commuter who witnessed the robbery, shouts of “hit him” and “don’t let him off’ can be heard.
The female victim, wearing a white top, can be seen pulling the alleged robber along with a group of men who are holding onto him. The witness, who asked not to be identified, says he was seated right across from the woman when the man walked up to them and took her phone.
The shocked witness said: “We were both sitting on our phones and he just walked up and grabbed her phone heading to the exit to jump carriages. Like what he did was nothing.”
The victim shouted for someone to stop the man and a few men in the carriage grabbed him. “I think people have just had enough of being robbed and victimised by criminals,” added the witness. “Hy’t pak gekry (He got beaten) for every mother and child who was ever hurt by robbers.”
Metrorail, however, said they were unaware of the incident. Spokesperson Riana Scott said: “There is no record of the incident being reported to us. It is best to immediately report the matter to the nearest police station. “We will also liaise with the Rapid Rail Response Unit to investigate the matter.”
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