Her arms bound and with a bedsheet tied over her head, a
77-year-old woman played dead to scare off a masked man who
attacked and robbed her at knifepoint in a brazen daylight
Police are hunting the man who barged through the backdoor of
the woman's Papatoetoe home as she went outside to get her
laundry at 1pm on Wednesday.
The elderly woman, who moved to New Zealand from Fiji 20
years ago, was bruised and in shock after the ordeal and her
family yesterday appealed to the public to help identify the
"I want that guy to be caught. If he's done it to her he'll
do it to someone else," her son said last night.
Her son, who the Herald has chosen not to name to protect the
victim, described his mother's terror and bravery as she
fought against the burly intruder.
"She hardly opens the front door. It was at the back and as
she opened the door he grabbed her, he had a knife in his
He said the large man, dressed in black and wearing a
balaclava, gripped his mother by her arms and pushed her into
the nearest room, her bedroom, and used an Indian silk scarf
to bind her hands behind her back. He also covered her face.
"The cover sheet from the bed, he put it on her head. There
are bruises on her face. The knots were so tight on her neck.
"She's really tough, she fought everything. He tried to do
everything and she was yelling at him, 'no, no, no'. After
that he tried to pull her from the bed and [he] dropped her
on the ground and pulled her down the corridor.
"She stopped her breath so he thought she was dead. That's
when he left."
The woman lives with her son and his wife, who regularly make
telephone checks on her when they are not home. On Wednesday,
her son phoned about 3pm and became worried when she did not
"The first call she didn't pick up, so I rang again in 10 to
15 minutes and she'd pulled her hand from the scarf knot and
was crying on the phone."
He dialled 111 and sped home from his Manukau workplace,
arriving at the same time as police. "I helped the police
His mother was taken to Middlemore Hospital where she stayed
overnight for full body x-rays and a CT scan. She returned
home yesterday morning with extensive bruising to her arms,
neck and face, her son said.
The intruder stole cash, ripped the woman's valuable gold
necklace from her neck and pulled thick gold bangles off her
But laptop computers and other valuables were left untouched.
The family are worried about their mother's welfare and want
to move to another neighbourhood. "We were talking about the
fear ... and I am just thinking, 'How is she bearing this'?"
Police were dismayed by the attack, the latest in a spate of
crimes targeting the elderly.
Detective Sergeant Simon Beal of Counties Manukau CIB said:
"We are appalled at the violent nature of this crime during
He appealed for anyone who saw suspicious behaviour in the
area of Huia Rd, Stonex Rd, Bernard St and Kimpton Rd to
In November, a man faced charges after another 77-year-old
Papatoetoe woman was sexually assaulted in her home. The
attack came only days after a brutal home invasion in
Pukekohe where an elderly couple were assaulted and tied up
and the sexual assault of an 87-year-old Hastings grandmother
who was dragged into her lounge while checking her mail.