A gang of five alleged robbers arrested for a heist of a clothing store in Bela-Bela has been linked to a range of robberies in various provinces, Limpopo police have confirmed.
The suspects, believed to be part of a syndicate, were apprehended on Thursday soon after a business robbery in the CBD, SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said.
“Four men and two women allegedly arrived at the store at about 10:30, driving in a white VW Polo and a black Citi Golf. After entering the store, they then ordered the staff to lie down and tied them up. The store manager was in the process allegedly instructed to unlock the safe and put about 198 different cellphone models into a bag,” Mojapelo said.
The matter was reported to the police. The Bela-Bela Crime Intelligence Unit started following leads and information was disseminated to all the surrounding stations to be on the lookout for the robbers.
“One of the suspects’ vehicles, the Citi Golf, was spotted next to the Maubane off-ramp by the Pienaarsrivier police. A car chase ensued and five suspects were cornered and arrested.”
Over 60 cellphones, watches and wallets with a total value of about R90 000 was recovered.
“Preliminary investigations revealed that all the suspects are from the Gauteng province and are linked to a series of business robberies committed across Limpopo and other provinces. The suspects, who were apparently targeting sports and clothing stores, have already been linked to a series of similar crimes that were committed since January,” Mojapelo said.
The suspects, aged between 30 and 33, will appear in the Bela-Bela Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of business robberies and possession of suspected stolen property.