“Satan came into my head“

Sheila Thomas from Raman Road who was mugged on Monday

Shock, despair and disappointment resonated through the family home of sixty year old Sheila Thomas in Raman Road after she was mugged of her handbag, pushed to the floor and dragged by the handle of her bag.

Her mugger, however, was not an unfamiliar face but a woman who lived across the road from her. Concerned family and friends flocked to her home as word of the peculiar mugging spread.
According to Thomas her ordeal began as she returned home from shopping trip to Debi Place on Monday. The alleged neighbourhood mugger, whose name is known to Public Eye, apparently tried to grab Thomas’s handbag as she walked along Chetty Road.

The woman grabbed the handbag, containing her bank cards and around R300 in cash but Thomas put up a fight clinging desperately to her possessions. Unfortunately the mugger was too strong and dragged Thomas until she fell to the ground. The neighbor then tried to flee with her loot by flagging down a passing taxi.

“About four or five elderly men and some boys were on Chetty Road and had seen what transpired. I don’t know the people who helped me but they managed to stop her before she got into the taxi and retrieved my handbag,” Thomas said.

When the good Samaritans questioned the woman on why she tried to steal Thomas’s handbag she replied: “Satan came in my head”.
Thomas walked away from the ordeal with injured and sore ribs, bruises on her knee and an injury to her head.
“This could have been worse but I am grateful for the help and support that I received. I could feel that my pressure had sky rocketed, my mouth was dry and I was in shock,” she said explaining that she knew someone was walking behind her at the time but felt safe when she realized that it was a woman.
Thomas, whose husband died eight years ago, lives with her youngest of three sons, her daughter-in-law and two grandchildren whom she cares for during the day.

“I didn’t expect this to happen and especially from my neighbor and that is what is so upsetting. I know her and she knows me! We have been living here for about five years and never had a problem with anyone in the area. This is the first time in my entire life that I have been robbed,” she added.
Her son who didn’t want his name published, said the incident had now burdened the family with unexpected medical bills.

“We are very shocked at what happened because we know these people. The lady’s kids used to come into our house and play with my boys. I think that knowing them makes the situation more difficult to handle than if it was a complete stranger,” he said adding that the elderly were easy targets for criminals.
Thomas told Public Eye that their neighbour was now pleading with them to drop the charges.
“The lady’s sister approached us and told us that her uncle had promised to pay all our medical expenses if we dropped the charges,” she explained.

“I would never want something like this to happen to anyone else and that is why I will not drop the charges. It all happened so quickly and I don’t even remember screaming for help or falling to the floor. The fact that two big scissors were the only items in her bag frightened me beyond words,” said the elderly woman.

Shernovia Reddy

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