Cape Town – South African extreme swimmer Ryan Stramrood became the latest victim of a spate of house robberies currently plaguing the upmarket suburb of Constantia in Cape Town.
Stramrood had been carrying fitness supplements in a box for a preparation race, when three men ambushed him at his car near his home early last Saturday around 06:00.
It is believed the attackers gained entry by cutting a hole in the perimeter fencing of the security estate where he lives.
The swimmer, 42, told News24 on Friday he was lucky to be alive.
“As I got to my car, I opened the boot and three guys were metres away from me,” he said.
“One guy put a gun to my head and another a knife to my side and said ‘money, money, money’.
“They took everything, they took my watch off my arm and it lasted about two or three minutes outside.”
Just before it was over, they asked him who he lives with.
“I was truthful and said I live alone,” he said, as his 4-year-old son stays with his mother.
Tied up, gagged
Thereafter the robbers took his house keys and walked him back to his unit in a complex.
They walked him to his bedroom. While one of the robbers held a gun to his head, they ransacked his house and stole computers, laptops, hard drives and phones.
He managed to convince the men not to take his credit cards, as they would just be traced.
“They agreed, and threw the wallet back at me, and that was first time I realised maybe they just wanted money and I might get out of this. I was really worried how this was going to end.”
While the robbers were in the house, Stramrood said they looked relaxed, and took their time taking items from the house, including four hard drives that contained “the past 20 years of my life”.
“They tied me up in the bedroom with shoelaces, and they put a gag in my mouth. But just before that, I said they mustn’t take my phone because it would be traced.
“It was the scariest time not being able to see, and they gagged me extremely tightly. The more I wrestled, the tighter and tighter the gag became.”
‘Have a nice day’
The robbers locked his bedroom once they were done, leaving a blindfolded and bound Stramrood inside.
“One guy actually said ‘have a nice day’, and then I heard them leave the house and drive off.”
A relieved Stramrood managed to remove the blindfold, and with his tied hands, used the phone the robbers had left behind to call the police and his friend.
Stramrood said he believed they weren’t professionals, and were more than likely opportunistic.
“I’m alright. It certainly rattled me but I’m not stirred. I just walked out at the wrong moment and it was just bad luck.”
Stramrood and his friend went for a therapeutic swim later that day, providing him with “ocean therapy”.
He said his extreme swimming…