Friday, December 14, 2007

Halsband Update

Dear friends,

Warm greetings in the Lord's name from Maun Botswana.

Thanks so much for praying us through this nasty ordeal. We have been overwhelmed by the many e-mails of love and support. Many have inquired as to what actually happened and if the thieves have been caught. This will be our last general correspondence regarding the robbery unless people specifically write for more details. We won't trouble you anymore.

Andrew and Tanya, our son and daughter in law, live about 5 kms away from us. We have a 911 neighborhood watch program here in the village. Everybody who is involved in it are armed with a hand-held CB radio. It is to be kept on all the time so that if there is any type of emergency everybody responds.

The night we were robbed, the thieves went straight for my radio before I was able to call for help. When they left, I could not find it so we phoned Andrew on the land line since our cell phones were stolen. Of course at 4 am he did not answer. I phoned the police but their phone was not working. Then Andrew phoned back so he called and alerted the 911 people on his
radio. Several people arrived in a few minutes with the police. The whole day was taken up with statements, looking for finger prints, making casts of foot prints, etc. I installed a burglar gate on our bedroom door, and repaired the burglar bars that were broken to get in.

Dec 12, the morning after our robbery, I was awakened at 3:30 am by the 911 radio. Apparently a butcher shop just down our street had been broken into, then 90 minutes later, another break in at a safari lodge, then at 6:30 am a bunch of 911 guys and the police were chasing some thieves who had broken into another house. The police had been tracking the thieves with bushmen all night. They called for back up and then I heard Andrew's voice on the radio saying he was on the way. I decided to head out there too just to see if these were the same guys who had hit us the night before.

The police caught them in a house and totally hammered them (police here have their own way of doing things). I was told to go to the police station and wait there until they arrived with the thieves. As they entered, I stood at the door of the police station and said to the thieves "Hi fellas, it's nice to see you again."

The soldiers were following behind with the loot from their evenings activities. That's when I noticed a pair of my shoes that had been stolen. They had arrested three of them. We have since learned that there were 5 in total. We only saw 4 when they hit our home as the 5th guy was likely a look out.

Later that day we were told to go to the police station and identify any of the items that belong to us. There we found one cell phone, a digital camera and the little bit of cash they had stolen. But no laptops. The police said that they were sure they would get the laptops back as they were still hunting for the the other two thieves. I didn't share their optimism.

This morning Dec 14, the 911 radio went off again. The three that had been previously captured had some how escaped police custody and a massive man hunt was being carried out. We continue to pray that they will all be arrested, and that the Lord will be glorified in this whole thing.

After living here in Botswana for 16 years, this is the first time any thing like this has happened to us. Maun is usually a very quiet peaceful village. Because of this we have been some what relaxed when it comes to security. We will make some changes security wise but nothing too drastic. Our dogs will now have the run of the whole plot and we will have a security system installed.

We feel quite good through the ordeal. We have had over 80 email notes of support and encouragement. I hope this does not turn anyone from ever coming for a visit.

Thanks for your prayers!

In the Master's service

Sid and Karen Halsband

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