Twelve alleged cash-in-transit robbers were arrested five hours after security guards were targeted at a shopping mall in the North West on Wednesday morning, the police said.
The gang allegedly robbed the guards of money they had collected from a supermarket at the Zinniaville shopping complex in Tlhabane at around 09.15am, said Colonel Brenda Muridili.
Shots were fired but no one was injured. The gang fled in a Mercedes-Benz and Toyota Etios.
“Crime Intelligence provided leads to the tracking team which then operationalised the information and moved swiftly to a house in the Bokamoso area in Rustenburg, where they confronted the suspects at about 14:00,” said Muridili.
Eight men and a woman were arrested. Officers recovered three illegal firearms and ammunition, four suspected stolen vehicles as well as the cash stolen from the guards earlier in the day.
Officers also went to another location in Rustenburg North, where they arrested three men and confiscated a rifle and ammunition as well as two suspected stolen motor vehicles.
Muridili said all 12 had, at this stage, been positively linked to the robbery.
“They will be facing charges that could include robbery with aggravating circumstances, the possession of illegal firearms and ammunition, possession of suspected stolen motor vehicles and possession of suspected stolen cash.”
The Hawks are investigating the case.
“I am pleased with the hard work that went into apprehending the alleged robbers within a few hours after the robbery,” said national police commissioner General Khehla John Sitole.
“We will continue to counter the criminals’ modus operandi and together with the banking and security industries we will reduce this heinous crime and continue to stamp the authority of the state.”