Man breaks car’s window, tries to snatch girl from father’s arms

Cape Town – A Mitchells Plain couple are warning parents to be careful when travelling on Jakes Gerwel Drive after their daughter was nearly snatched from her father’s arms.

Denise Wessels and Byron Adonis say a simple family day out on Saturday resulted in a nightmare for the entire family, including their three-year-old daughter Isabella Rose Adonis, who was almost kidnapped.

“We were travelling to N1 City just after 2pm, and Isabella’s friend was with us. Isabella was with her daddy at the back and I was driving,” explains Denise.

“Her daddy was napping and she was laying on him. When we passed the Bluegum intersection [near Langa] we got stuck in some traffic and there were cars on either side of us.”

Byron says “out of nowhere” he heard the window break and saw a man climb through it and grab Isabella’s leg.

“I got a fright as he came in and went straight for her. He grabbed her leg and pulled her towards him, but I just held onto her tightly and would not let go. She screamed and I shouted and then they left.”

The shocked couple says it took them a few seconds to comprehend what had happened.

“I just froze and when the whole thing was over I saw two guys running away and they went towards Langa’s side. It was so strange that they just broke the window and went for her.

“Look, I know that area is a hotspot for smash-and-grabs but I have never heard of the people trying to take your children. There was no bag or anything valuable in the car that you can say they wanted.

“Imagine if her daddy wasn’t there, they would have gotten away with her,” says the horrified mom.

The traumatised family say they hurried home in shock and on Sunday reported the incident to police.

City of Cape Town director for Traffic Services and Law Enforcement, Robbie Roberts, says this incident was a first for officials.

“The robbers usually go for bags or clothing that is visible in the vehicle but this is a first.

“We commit to helping the parents by going through the CCTV footage and see if we can identify the suspects. We don’y have any similar reports but we can look into it.”

Byron says they want other parents to be cautious in case this is a new crime trend: “We decided to share our story so people can know what happened and they can stay safe and keep their children safe.”