Suspects might be linked to seven other robberies

Members of a group of seven men, who were arrested at California Entertainment Lounge three weeks ago, are suspected to be part of a robbery syndicate that has terrorised Middelburg.

The suspects were arrested after the swift reaction by Mid Alarms security officers. They arrived at California Lounge, situated next to the old Pick ‘n Pay building, just as the alleged robbers were exiting the business. The group of men fled back into the business.

Also read: Four armed robberies in one week

After a standoff with police and security officers, the suspects eventually handed themselves over to the police. R25 000 cash, taken from California Lounge, was allegedly found in their possession.

Also read: Crime syndicate targeting lighting plants at mine

Brig. Leonard Hlathi, provincial police spokesperson, said that the men were supposed to apply for bail in the Middelburg Magistrate Court on Wednesday. The application was postponed until a later date because their Legal Aid representative claimed that he did not have enough time to consult with all of his clients.

Three of the suspects were out on parole at the time of their arrest. Their parole has since been revoked and they have been sent back to prison to serve the remainder of their sentences.

Also read: VIDEO – Eastdene shooting: Do you know these men in the car? Police ask for assistance with bloody home invasion 

Information has it that some of the suspects might be linked to as many as seven other robberies committed in Middelburg, dating as far back as 2016. The investigating officer is hard at work to try and gather information to establish connections to other unsolved cases.

An identity parade was postponed because the suspects’ lawyer did not honour the appointment and they did not want to continue without him.

The names and identities of the suspects will be withheld until after the identity parade.


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Jana Boshoff

Award-winning community news journalist with over a decade's newsroom experience. Passionate about hard-hitting news stories!
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