Gang nailed – Bail denied

In a town plagued by robberies, teamwork between police and civilian volunteers gave crime a bloody nose when a suspected gang of robbers were caught at the Oaks Centre last Friday.

In a joint operation by police, members of the Community Policing Forum and Middelburg 911 radio group, the alleged robbers were trapped inside the building.

They were allegedly trying to break open the safe of the Absa ATM next to Woolworths but had nowhere to go but up, when they were caught in the act of trying to get to the money.

State of the art tools like a jackhammer, grinder and a battery pack to power them, were left behind on the scene when the gang attempted to flee.

A group of men, searching the rooftop parking with flashlights, were surprised by a thumping sound when one of the suspects nearly fell on them, after he tried to slide down a gutter and it gave way.

Another person involved in the operation, jumped over a wall to search for suspects and landed on top of one hiding behind it. A third suspect was found hiding in the police offices on the second floor.

The men were charged with malicious damage to property and appeared in the Middelburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday. They were denied bail and their case was postponed until February. All of the suspects reside in Mhluzi.

Read about a gang of robbers that robbed three petrol stations in 30 minutes here.

Less than an hour earlier on the same night, three armed men with balaclavas overpowered security guards and construction workers at the Middelburg court. The men were tied, using their own handcuffs and shoelaces, in one of the bathrooms in the building.

Robbers fled with one of the security guards’ gun after breaking open the wrong safe, containing only classified documents but no money. No one has been arrested.

Watch video of how Sam Ranchod, Middelburg resident, was murdered by robbers in Eastdene Liquours here.

Have a look at the identikits of previous robbery suspects here.

Read update here:

Update: ‘Oaks Centre gang’ in court

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