Karachi: Babysitter turns out to be a robber
KARACHI: Police foiled an attempted robbery bid in a house in Khayaban-e–Shujaat, DHA on Tuesday. Police rushed to the house after they received a frantic phone call from a resident of the house, Sameera Abid, and arrested three suspects after a brief encounter. The arrested were identified as Sulaiman, Ali Hassan and Sania. The suspects were facilitated by the house’s gardener, who had been working at the residence for the past two weeks. While sitting in the lounge some hours after the incident, Sameera revealed that this was the first time she had had a “brush with death”.
The family, who has been living in the posh locality of DHA for the last nine months, says that they had never thought something like this could happen in their neighborhood, let alone in their house.
Sameera’s parents chose not to speak about the incident as they were still in shock. Sameera, who owns a salon in Zamzama and works with her elder sister, was on her way out when the armed robbers stormed into her home.
“We were waiting for the gardener to bring in a woman who was supposed to babysit my niece,” she said. “At around 11:40am, the gardener brought the woman to the house. The woman was accompanied by two men, who were posing as her relatives,” said Deputy Superintendent Police (DSP) Defence Zameer Abbasi. All four were involved in the robbery; however, the gardener fled the scene and is currently being traced, he added.
The woman (Sania) was introduced to Sameera’s father just outside their house, who then asked Sania to speak to his wife who was present inside. “As soon as he (Sameera’s father) entered the home, the men and woman stormed in and pushed him into a chair,” Sameera said.
The police said the robbers, who were carrying two TT pistols and a knife, ordered the husband and wife to sit in a corner. At this point, Sameera’s mother shouted to her to lock herself up in her room. Sameera ran into her room, locked it shut and immediately called the police.
“I was mentally prepared to die,” she said. The robbers then sent Sania to bring Sameera downstairs, who kept asking Sameera if she had made a call to the police or not.“I told her I made the call but that I didn’t give them the address,” she said. She added that she was not expecting the police to appear before half an hour.
Once the robbers had tied up the residents, they began looting the family’s possessions.“They asked my mother to hand over her earrings, rings and bracelets; they also took video cameras and cell phones from our rooms.”
But before the robbers could even think of escape, police had surrounded the house and were ordering the robbers to surrender. Seconds later, an encounter broke out between the accused and the police. During the cross–firing, one of the suspects, Sulaiman, was injured, which gave police enough time to rush inside and rescue the family.
“Everything happened within the span of 10 minutes, but it felt like it took hours. I was really surprised by the response of the police. I didn’t even expect them to make it, but they ended up being a great help,” she said.
Though the three robbers were taken away, the family has no information about the whereabouts of the gardener, who allegedly planned the robbery.SHO Darakshan Mobin has reminded families living in the area to register the basic information of their private security guards and domestic help at the nearest police station.
“The easiest way is by submitting a photocopy of an employee’s National Identity Card. This can be used in any eventuality. In this case, the gardener had been hired by the family on the reference of some friends,” he said.
SHO Mobin said this is the first incident he has experienced since being posted to the area 14 days ago and that Gizri is by far the worst affected area.“We can save on the embarrassment of reaching late by planning the response time. The earliest response time after receiving a phone call is 6 minutes. Any later than that, and we end up chasing rumors instead of suspects,” he added.