An ER24 paramedic was held against his will last night when two men attempted to steal personal belongings as well as cash from him.
The incident occurred when two on-duty paramedics from ER24 stopped at a local shopping centre in Paarl shortly after 7 pm last night. One of the paramedics explained that he was waiting inside of the ambulance while his colleague went into the shop to purchase food. Moments after his colleague exited the vehicle, two men pulled open the ambulance door and told the paramedic that they were armed and demanded money. One of the suspects went around the ambulance and opened the other door to go through the medics' personal belongings.
The paramedic explained that the two suspects could not find anything worthwhile to steal and demanded that he (the paramedic) go into one of the shops with them to withdraw money and buy items. The paramedic stated that for some reason, he was unable to withdraw cash inside the shop. While the two suspects were still with the paramedics, an off duty Metro Ambulance medic recognised the ER24 medic and enquired if everything was alright. The suspects then fled the scene without anything.
The two ER24 paramedics reported the incident at the Paarl East police station. Officers requested the paramedics to follow them to the shopping centre. Upon their arrival, the police officers found one of the suspects and placed him under arrest. The second suspect is still sought but is apparently known to the police. A case has been registered at the Paarl East police station (483/6/2019).
We are glad that our paramedics were not injured in this incident and appreciate the off duty Metro Ambulance medic who stepped in to inquire about the situation at the time. We also appreciate the fact that a suspect could be arrested so soon following the incident. Sadly, theft of equipment, attacks against paramedics and robberies have become a daily occurrence in emergency medical services. Once again we urge community members to identify people who are responsible for these senseless incidents and report them to their local police station, contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or send an SMS to the official Crime Line number 32211 for anonymous tip-offs.