WERE the culprits responsible for a beach robbery that took place at Alkantstrand three days before the tragic murder of Clive Hunter also the ones responsible for the popular angler's death? This is the question on everyone's lips after Johannesburg visitor Avril Pedro and Richards Bay's Gert van der Merwe came forward with their story of being robbed in the parking lot at Alkantstrand the Saturday before Hunter's death. According to Pedro and Van der Merwe, they were approached by four men, one armed with a gun. He attempted to shoot Van der Merwe but then, after the weapon apparently jammed, beat him in the face with the gun and took two wallets and a cell phone. Pedro and Van der Merwe also claim that the four men who attacked them were picked up by CRG Security shortly after, but were released without being taken to the police. CRG later showed them surveillance camera footage of four men running away close to the scene where the robbery took place. 'I believe that if the thugs were arrested on Saturday, the shooting that took place on Tuesday would not have happened and Clive Hunter would still be alive,' said Pedro in an email sent to the Zululand Observer last week. However, according to spokesperson for CRG Security, Barry Walters, the four men picked up on the day were released due to inconsistencies in Pedro and Van der Merwe's story. 'The couple who reported the incident were unclear about the amount of money stolen - first it was R40 and then R5 000, and no-one on the beach reported hearing any gunshots fired.' He further said that the description given by Pedro and Van der Merwe of the assailants' clothing, matched that of the four men spotted running away on a surveillance camera at nearby Imvubu Lodge - and did not match the four pointed out and described by the victims. 'The response unit found four juveniles playing soccer and asked them to accompany the unit to the CRG office at the beach, which they willingly did,' said Walters. 'But their manager confirmed that these youngsters - aged between 12 and 16 - had been under his care all day, practicing for an upcoming tournament. 'If CRG had the slightest suspicion that the four youths were involved they would have been taken to the police, but the evidence was not sufficient.' It has not been confirmed whether the four men seen on the surveillance footage were the same who attacked and killed Clive Hunter the following Tuesday.