Police have clamped down on the Quantum gang that has been terrorising food outlets, hair salons and spaza shops in Pretoria.
The syndicate is suspected of renting the vehicles they use from taxi drivers. The gang of four men have been targeting smaller businesses with insufficient security and which often trade from early in the morning until late at night.
One gang member would enter a store pretending to be a customer and order food. Then, the other three would come in and rob the store.
They would then go to other areas and commit more robberies on the same evening, police said. But on Friday, during the police’s Operation Thiba initiative, the Tshwane police’s central cluster pounced on the gang in Mamelodi.
Spokesperson Captain Jan Sepato said three armed suspects and a Toyota Quantum were found in the area.
“One of the suspects tried to flee and fired shots at police. Police retaliated and the suspect was fatally shot.”
During the shootout, the two other suspects were arrested. It was initially suspected that the Quantum was rented from taxi drivers, but Sepato said that was still the subject of investigation.
“We are pleased with these arrests as this syndicate has been terrorising the area. Our Tshwane cluster commander, as well as other police clusters, have made an outcry about the Quantum gang.
“The suspects are charged with business robbery, attempted murder and possession of unlicensed firearms.
“The Quantum issue still needs to be verified. They are expected to appear before the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court soon,” Sepato said.
Police would meet spaza shop owners to raise awareness about improving security measures and reducing trading hours. Small business owners should install burglar bars, security gates, closed-circuit cameras and panic buttons, and hire security companies, he added.
“The suspects will still be charged for other cases on conclusion of the investigations. “Our commander can now rest peacefully,” Sepato said.