A grandfather has recalled the terrifying moment he thought he was going to die after being set upon by brazen thieves in Perth during a shocking two hour gun heist.
Barry Lathwell, 81, was heading home after work when he became the latest elderly Aussie targeted in an attack near his home in the Western Australian capital. The grandad had just shut up shop when he was kidnapped and held hostage by two hooded men who threatened to kill him if he didn’t follow their orders.
The men had been waiting for him outside his Beckenham gun store and once he left followed him in a white Mercedes van on his drive home, Nine News reports. Following a detailed plan, they then staged an accident at a set of lights before striking Barry and kidnapping him.
“They put silver handcuffs on me, they cable tied my legs together and they got a dirty old cloth. They put it around my head and duck taped it so I couldn’t see,” the grandfather told Nine News. Once Barry was inside their van the men drove to the grandfather’s store and demanded he tell them the code to get inside and steal the guns.
Throughout the frightening ordeal the men managed to steal a total of 100 guns from the store and an additional 30 long-arm firearms. Barry was hit with an iron bar on the legs, resulting in multiple bruises and explained he didn’t think he was going to make it out alive.
“They said, ‘we are going to kill you and do you unless you give us the access codes to get into your shop’,” Barry told Nine News. “I thought, I’m gone, I’m done.”
However, despite his injuries and fright, the grandad proved you’re never too old to fight back, using his quick thinking to lock the men outside the store and sound a duress alarm to get help. “I thought they would come back and get more guns and do me in – that’s what I thought,” Barry explained.
Shockingly, Barry is just one of many elderly Aussies attacked in recent months. Just weeks ago, brave grandfather John Filarda refused to go down without a fight when a thug broke into his home in a bid to steal his car.
Following the lead of a number of older Aussies who have been targeted in attacks and robberies across the country recently, Filarda bravely stood up to the crook who violently kicked in his front door in Perth’s north-east. The 63-year-old was confronted at home by the thief who apparently held a steak knife to his throat and demanded the keys to Filarda’s vehicle.
A brave grandfather has fought off an intruder during a night of crime chaos in Middle Swan. The thug kicked in the front door and slashed the 63-year-old with a knife, but he hit back with his walking stick. @StampyMichael #9News pic.twitter.com/cwFDsCCWPt
— Nine News Perth (@9NewsPerth) August 22, 2019
Though he may have seemed like an easy target, John certainly proved he’s still got a good fight left in him as he used his walking stick to hit the burglar during the frightening home invasion as he tried to drive off in the car. Speaking to Nine News about the shocking chain of events the granddad explained how although his life was at serious risk, he didn’t back down.
“I opened the door and tried to get him out of the car,” he said on the program. “He kept handing onto the steering wheel – in the end I gave him a couple more hits in the head.”
Meanwhile, John’s son Anthony claimed the thief certainly picked the wrong person to mess with. “Pretty lucky dad is a fiery fellow,” he added. “Fought back a bit. If it was someone a bit older or someone else it could have been a lot worse.”