Witness tells of alleged robbery on elderly couple

More details have emerged about the alleged robbery of an elderly couple in Papanui on Monday.

A neighbour who witnessed the incident and called the police told The Star yesterday, the incident was appalling.

“They may not be that harmed physically but mentally they will be badly disturbed from it,” the witness said of the 91 and 81-year-old victims.

“She (81-year-old) was just in shock, shaking.”

“I was talking to another neighbour about it and she
said in 50 years nothing like this has happened (in the street) before.”

Two women who were caught by police soon after the alleged robbery in St James Ave on Monday afternoon have been remanded in custody after appearing in the district court.

Maera Elizabeth Todd, 39, was charged with assaulting the elderly couple, along with aggravated robbery, with intent to get away. Shantai Lawson, 38 was jointly charged, for robbery only. They will reappear in court on August 27.

Todd is also facing charges for the kidnapping and robbery of an 87-year-old man outside a Hastings supermarket last month.

The neighbour, who declined to be named told The Star yesterday she realised something was “not right” when she saw a car, with two women inside, pull up outside the elderly couple’s house.

“Usually when people they know visit, they will always pull in the drive,” she said.

The two women knocked
on the door, which was opened by the 91-year-old man. The witness said the two women went inside.

She then saw them walking around the section and called the police.

The witness then said the man’s wife arrived home. She saw the 81-year-old get knocked down the front steps as the two offenders left the property.

The witness then went to help the woman, who was in shock and not saying anything.

The 91-year-old was on the phone calling police.

“I said, it’s okay I have called the police. They are on their way.”

Police arrived soon after and arrested Todd and Shaw in a nearby street.

An ambulance was called for the couple. They were taken to Christchurch Hospital where they were treated for shock and minor injuries and discharged.

The witness said elderly couple were considering moving from their home because of the incident.