By David Miller
A GRANDMOTHER barricaded her family into part of a cellar to protect them from masked raiders who burst into their Batley home.
Soumia Karolia shut herself and eight relatives, including three young children, into a basement room and blocked the door with a piece of furniture.
In another piece of quickthinking at the Track Road property, Mrs Kaarolia’s 18yearold granddaughter smuggled a mobile phone in and texted for help.
They acted after seven robbers, one of whom had a taserlike stun gun, burst in at around 12.10pm last Tuesday looking for cash and jewellery.
The stungun wielding raider forced them into the cellar while the other six searched upstairs. Mrs Karolia acted when he was momentarily distracted.
She said: “We could hear them upstairs. The man in the cellar was on the phone to them asking if they’d found the safe yet.
“Then he’d shout at us, threatening us and asking where the safe was. We were in there for only about 10 minutes, but it felt like hours.
“I didn’t feel scared. I just kept thinking that I couldn’t be scared because it would upset the children. I had to be strong for them.”
Mrs Karolia’s husband, Bashir, got a text from his granddaughter pleading for help. She also called police, who were there when he arrived at the house. The robbers were disturbed by sirens and fled leaving a trail of goods on the stairs. But they managed to steal money and all of Mrs Karolia’s jewellery.
She added: “It doesn’t matter what they took. At least we’re all safe. But the fear is still there when I hear a noise outside or a knock at the window.”
The robbers got into the house when one of them pretended to be a postman making a delivery that needed a signature.
An efit image has been released of this man, who was in his late 20s, had short blond hair, stubble and was wearing a red Royal Mail jacket. Three of the seven robbers were white, three were black and one was Asian. The Asian man had a red mark under one of his eyes.
Another suspect, who was not masked, was in his late 20s, about 5ft 8in tall, of slim build and had a thin face and small eyes.
Anyone with information can call DC Rudge at Dewsbury CID on 01924 431012 or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
A GRANDMOTHER barricaded her family from masked raiders in BatleyFriday 19th August 2011
By David Miller