640 men were killed when the South African troop carrier was hit by a cargo ship in 1917.
Southampton Woman Tells Of Terrifying Armed Raid
A Southampton woman has been telling Heart she thought her family was going to be killed by an armed gang who smashed their way into her house.
The five men broke into Karen Watkins' house in Laburnum Road in Bassett Green at about 11.15pm last Thursday night (24 October). They ran off with a Samsung tablet after demanding jewellery and punching her partner in the face.
42-year-old Karen was in bed asleep at the time, with her 39-year-old partner and her two children, a girl aged 15 and a boy aged 16, also in the house.
The family were upstairs at the time when they heard a loud banging noise. Karen and her children came down and saw the men break in by smashing a window. The men claimed to be police officers and threatened to hurt them if they moved.
The man who was still upstairs at the time was punched by the men when they went into his room. He received minor injuries to his face.
The burglars then carried out a quick search and then ran off with a Samsung tablet.
"We got woken up by loud banging noises. I came down the stairs, the kids followed me, and then I said 'who's there?'. Before I knew it there was somebody jumping through the window, smashing the window. Then another one jumped through. The first one said to us 'we're the police, stay where you are. We've got guns and we'll shoot you.'
"We just froze. They walked straight upstairs. I saw a third one coming through the window and I said 'run kids, run'.
"My partner was upstairs, he got up but stayed upstairs. They said 'give us your jewellery, give us all your money' and one of them punched him.
"I thought I was dreaming, it was like something out of Crimewatch. I thought 'that's it, we're dead'.
"I really do hope the police find them. I'm so angry and bitter at the minute, the upset's turned to anger.
"We're all on edge here, shouting at each other. I'm arguing with the kids. Just horrible, we're just frightened really."
The five men are described as all being in their late teens or early 20s. They wore dark tracksuit style clothing and face coverings, scarves and balaclavas. One man in the group is described as being a larger build than the others.
Detective Constable Lauren Dunkason said:
“We’re very keen to hear from anyone who may have seen the group in the area before or after the burglary. They left in the direction of the bottom end of Honeysuckle Road towards Burgess Road and Stoneham Way.
“We don't know the motivation for the burglary at this time, and enquiries are ongoing in order to establish this.
“Not surprisingly the family have been left very shaken up by the experience.
“I would ask that anyone who does know anything about this crime gets in contact with me at Bitterne CID on 101or if they prefer they can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
The 79-year-old man suffered a serious head injury in the Cranmer Road car park in Winton.
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