Eight people have been arrested after two KwaZulu-Natal supermarkets were hit by armed robbers in separate incidents over the weekend, according to police.
The two supermarkets, one in Durban and the other in Greytown, saw armed groups of robbers targeting the busy stores during the nationwide lockdown.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said police on Monday arrested a 21-year-old and a 27-year-old for attempting to rob a supermarket on Carlow Road in Bonela, Cato Crest, in Durban.
The two were armed with a pistol, five rounds of ammunition, a hammer and a screwdriver.
“It is alleged that yesterday, at 14:00, [they] entered a supermarket in Bonela and demanded cellphones and cash at gunpoint. The suspects fled the scene in the victim’s bakkie,” Naicker said on Tuesday.
Naicker said a case of robbery was opened at the Cato Manor police station for investigation.
“Prompt police investigation led to the arrest of the suspects and the recovery of a firearm. The bakkie was found abandoned in Cato Manor. The suspects will appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court soon.”
He added that the men were linked to four other robbery cases, and another pending investigation.
“The firearm will be subjected to ballistic testing to determine if it was used in the commission of any crime.”
Greytown supermarket robbery
In a separate incident, also on Monday, Naicker said a group robbed a supermarket on Bell Street in Greytown around 12.00pm.
“They stole airtime vouchers and an undisclosed amount of cash at gunpoint. Police officers, who were in the vicinity, were alerted and immediately responded. A total of six men, aged between 27 and 44, were apprehended as they attempted to flee the scene on foot.”
He said four unlicensed firearms, including an AK47 rifle, a shotgun, two pistols, and 30 rounds of ammunition were seized.
“The suspects will appear in the Greytown Magistrate’s Court, where they will be facing charges of being in illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, as well as robbery.”