UPDATE: Elderly man explains his attack on New Year’s Eve

Frank Behen shows how he strategically places the weak bars so the window cannot be opened from the outside.

Seventy-year-old Frank Behen said he was sleeping when three men entered his unit in Country Life Retirement Village by breaking the burglar bars of his guest bathroom on December 31.


Elderly man tied up in retirement village

They opened the window from outside.

Behen indicated how the undamaged burglar bars bend when he applies force.

“When [the men] entered my room it was still dark and they flipped me over, so I was facing down,” said Behen.

Behen said all three intruders were wielding a gun.

“It really happened so fast. I didn’t have a chance to see anything,” he added.

The men then bound his ankles with a shoelace and his wrists with a cable tie.

“I injured my wrist when I was trying to free my hands,” he said, explaining they tied his wrists behind his back.

“There isn’t much you can do.”

Behen said the first thing the suspects asked for was where the panic button is.

They ordered him to give them the combination to his safe.

“They stole R1 000 and £500, which is probably worth about R8 000,” he said.

They also took a cellphone, two laptops, a television and his GPS.

Behen believes the suspects cut the village’s electric fence in a way that did not trigger an alarm.

“They first tried to enter through the garage, but I have a window there and I think they saw the door to the unit, which would have made it harder for them to enter,” he explained.

Behen said Country Life’s head office did reach out to him. A meeting is scheduled on January 24 to discuss the incident with all of the residents.

“I will wait and see what they say, but I expect they have a security plan ready,” he said.

In the meantime, Behen upgraded his security system with alarms.

Kempton Park SAPS spokesperson Capt Jethro Mtshali said a detective unit is investigating a case of house robbery.

“An investigation is still underway and no one has been arrested, hence we still appeal to anyone with information to contact Kempton Park detectives on 011 393 8600 or 08600 10111 or send an SMS to Crime Line on 32211,” he said.

The Country Life Retirement Village’s general manager was not available for comment at the time of publishing.


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Johané Turkstra

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