A Perth grandfather has said he thought he was going to die during a terrifying two-hour gun heist in the city’s southern suburbs.
Barry Lathwell, 81, was on his way home when he was kidnapped by two men, hooded, hogtied and held hostage while the pair robbed his Beckenham gun store.
“They said, ‘we are going to kill you and do you unless you give us the access codes to get into your shop’,” Mr Lathwell told 9News.
I thought, I’m gone, I’m done.”
The men had been staking out his store in a white Mercedes van, following him while he drove home and then staging an accident at a set of traffic lights in Maddington.
Under the façade of exchanging driver details in a nearby laneway, the pair then struck and kidnapped the 81-year-old.
“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,” Mr Lathwell said.
The kidnappers drove him to the store demanding the codes and handguns, resorting to violence when the crime was not going their way.
In an act of bravery, Barry took things into his own hands by locking his captors outside the building and souring a duress alarm.
I thought they would come back and get more guns and do me in – that’s what I thought,” he said.
More than 100 guns were stolen in total from the store, along with 30 other longarm firearms.
Police have since released a composite image of one of the men in the hope of locating the kidnappers, and believe the weapons could be heading east.