Business, Economics and Jobs

Trent Barcroft, CEO of Chrysler in South Africa, shot in robbery


The CEO of Chrysler in South Africa was shot and robbed over the weekend.


Justin Sullivan

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Trent Barcroft, the CEO of Chryslers' South African operations, is in intensive care after being shot in a robbery outside Johannesburg last weekend. 

Barcroft was shot in the stomach at around 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, as three attackers robbed him and his wife of their cell phones, jewelry and handbag in Waterfall Park, the Sowetan Live reported

Chrysler spokesman Richard Sloman said that Barcroft is still hospitalized but responding well to treatment; his wife is still shocked from the incident and has not commented on it, the Associated Press reported

"He’s fine, he’s going to pull through," Sloman said, according to Business Day Live. "They operated on Saturday to sort everything out," adding that wife Cathy was "bearing up well under the circumstances."

GlobalPost Senior Correspondent in South Africa Erin Conway-Smith said that while the rate of violent crime has steadily declined in South Africa, it remains worryingly high by international standards, especially in the major cities of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

"While the full details of this incident aren't yet known, this appears to follow a well-known tactic by criminals seeking to carjack a vehicle or rob passengers," Conway-Smith said. "Another tactic is for robbers to put rocks or other debris on the road to stop the car, with recent cases of this reported in Wednesday's Johannesburg Star newspaper."

A spokesman for Johannesburg metro police advised motorists to continue driving even if their vehicle has been damaged, Conway-Smith said, and to stop only at a safe location such as a gas station of police station.

The US embassy spokesman Jack Hillmeyer said that they were aware of the shooting, but declined to comment because Barcroft and his wife are private American citizens, South African Press Association reported

Chryslers' head of security arrived in Johannesburg from the States on Monday, and Sloman said they are looking into improving security at the Barcrofts' home and giving him a driver, according to Business Day Live.  

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