At 03h22 on 12.10.2018, Xtrasec, our Security Company, received notification of our panic alarm. They called us immediately and I said “Come! There’s someone in our house!” Six minutes later it was all over, but how much did we experience and learn during those six minutes…
Earlier that same night Precious, our stray Maltese poodle, did not want to return to our bedroom after being let out during the night. I left her to decide where she’d settle and returned to our bedroom. At that time I did not reactivate our security alarm as she would have set if off with her movement. I locked the security gate to our bedroom and went back to sleep. She probably went to the spare bedroom, which she loves.
The six minutes
Later Precious’ barking woke Ron (who needs his hearing aid to hear properly). But it did not wake me (I have excellent hearing). God had kept me asleep as I could not have handled the situation as professionally, as Ron was well equipped to do. Ron assumed the dog was barking at the sound of a cat on the roof, or had seen a gecko or a spider. It was not the case. She was barking at the intruder who then shone a very bright torch into his face as he looked down the passage from our bedroom! (Ron could have gone to our bedroom door when Precious barked furiously and have been shot from the dining room).
I awoke only when Ron walked towards the security gate and was about to tell him that the alarm was not activated. In the same moment he flung back the doormat (which prevented the wooden door from closing) and slammed shut the wooden door, activating the silent panic alarm at the bedroom door and said to me “There’s someone in the house! Get into the bathroom now!” He heard the security gate to the bedroom rattling as the intruder tried to get to our room and immediately went to the wall safe and retrieved his revolver. God intervened again, as Ron did not have the excessive chest pain or a potential heart attack as was expected under such pressure. God kicked in his adrenaline and training instead. They now knew someone was awake! I could have walked into the intrusion had Precious again wanted to go outside. God had intervened yet again and kept me safe.
Ron fired a shot through the bedroom wooden door. Having done so, he cautiously opened the wooden door, saw nothing and let Precious in. We think she was traumatised from the shot of the revolver and fled to her basket. He moved to the bedroom window to peep through the side of the curtain overlooking the front lawn but saw a light against curtains before he got there! He thought it was the arrival of Xtrasec but instead, found himself looking at a person shining a torch towards the bedroom. When he knew he’d been seen, the intruder fled towards the motor gate side of the house. We did nothing and awaited the arrival of Xtrasec.
It was now about 6 minutes from when the panic alarm was activated. After the 6 minutes Two patrolmen arrived in separate vehicles and searched around the house, finding nothing and then phoned us to let them into the house. We gave them the keys through the bedroom window. They let themselves in and searched the house and let us know there was no sign of anyone anywhere. They had fled. The patrolmen showed Ron where the intruders accessed our home through the dining room window without breaking the pane. They bent the burglar bars outwards and that is where they got in and got out with their loot. They unplugged the TV, took 3 remotes, Ron’s two leather wallets each containing money – about R750 – picked up the laptop in its bag (but overlooked my handbag), and made their escape. My wedding rings, wrist watch and earrings were still on the nook counter on the other side of the room, untouched. Clearly, they had very little time to look around, intent only on their shopping list of TV, cell ‘phones, laptop and money – fairly easily found in the light shining in from our back patio. We do not know if there were more intruders and think there must have been at least a third person waiting in a getaway car – presumably concealed in the adjacent pan-handle driveway.
Xtrasec called the SAPS, the detectives, the finger print experts and several hours later, after a statement from each of us, everyone left.
In hind sight we are eternally grateful for God’s protection in advance, as well as God’s protection during the 6 minutes that could have resulted in torture, injury or death to either one, or both of us – eight times in all.
I am not angry, in shock, or traumatised. I’m experiencing a “peace which passeth all understanding”. Further intervention by God was that Charles Kendall, on the following Sunday morning, unknowingly, chose as our first hymn “Sing we the King who is coming to reign”. I could relate from our experience to every verse we sang, particularly the chorus:
“Come let us sing: Praise to our King,
Jesus our King, Jesus our King:
This is our song who to Jesus belong:
Glory to Jesus, to Jesus our King.”
Pam van Heerden