A Cape Town woman’s dog was recently kidnapped while on a run with her owner on Table Mountain and held for R500 ransom by kidnappers hoping to make a quick buck.
Lisette Lombard and her 12-year-old Jack Russel, named Jolie, made headlines on Monday, 11 October in an attempt to warn others about the ordeal.
Lisette told News24 that Jolie was running about 20 metres behind her on 9 October when she subsequently disappeared around 11:00. Lisette said she was in the bushes, moving towards Rhodes Memorial when she noticed Jolie was missing.
After she frantically searched for the dog, Lisette got a “chilling” phone call from the alleged kidnapper who got her contact details on the tag that was wrapped around Jolie’s neck.
“This was not my first time losing a dog in the forest. Usually, normal people would check the tag and call me and say, we have your dog, where are you? And I would say, I am in the forest and they would say, I am in the forest, too, let’s meet near the cars. But these guys were not like that. They wanted money,” said Lombard.
After negotiating with the caller, Lisette met a group of four men around 19:00 the same evening, near the Blue Route Mall in Tokai.
“He said he would not tell me where my dog was until I give him the money. I said, ok, I was going to give the reward if we can arrange to meet somewhere. Then he told me a name of an area close to Bellville and I said I can’t come there. I would rather meet somewhere central, maybe at Mowbray police station, to ensure my dog has a safe passage and I am safe. And I will give them their reward. He said, no, let’s meet at Blue Route Mall.”
She said the group arrived in a white Mazda Etude, while the police observed from a nearby unmarked vehicle. She paid the four men R500 and they gave the dog back. who was seemingly dehydrated.
“They obviously deprived her of water,” she said.
Lisette said that she is grateful to the police because she made it clear to them that she wanted her dog back and they escorted her.
“They drove behind me and watched to make sure the kidnappers didn’t drive off with my money and the dog. When the group of kidnappers left, the police got out of their car to check if me and the dog were safe.”
The managers of Table Mountain, SANParks, told the publication that they were not aware of a dog kidnapping syndicate operating in the area. Meanwhile, police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa said that if this is the case, the SAPS will need time to investigate the allegations of a dog kidnapping syndicate operating in Cape Town.