Facebook status update foils armed robbery in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG — A South African woman stopped an armed robbery at her home near Pretoria, the capital, by updating her Facebook status, according to reports.

Two men broke into the home of Lizette Langeveld in the town of Centurion, demanding money, jewelry and keys to the safe. They physically assaulted the 43-year-old mother, stole her mobile phone and threatened to rape her, the Beeld newspaper reported Monday. 

The robbers then tied Langeveld up in a bedroom with her 10-year-old son, and said they would wait for her husband to return home and kill him.

According to the South African Press Association, Langeveld managed to free herself and her son, and they hid inside a wardrobe with her laptop computer.

She updated her Facebook status with a desperate plea:

"Please help! We have an armed robbery, they're waiting for Hennie at the gate, please phone him, don't let him come inside," she wrote in the Afrikaans language.

In a second message, Langeveld wrote: "Help! Call Hennie. We've managed to untie ourselves. They said they would come back to rape me. Armed."

A friend saw the status update, and updated Hennie Langeveld, according to SAPA. Police and security guards arrived at the house a few minutes later, but the robbers had fled. 

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