An alleged robber, who was wounded while his two suspected accomplices were killed in a shootout with police on Tuesday, has been arrested.
He is accused of being part of the group of three, who are believed to be part of a syndicate that commits business robberies in and around the Tshwane district. They have allegedly been linked to at least 10 business robberies.
“It is believed that these three suspects are part of a syndicate that has been linked to cash in transit (CIT) robberies as well. Since the inception of the lockdown, the syndicate has been committing business robberies,” said police spokesperson Colonel Brenda Muridili.
On Tuesday, the police’s Tactical Response Team (TRT), supported by the National Cash-in-transit Task Team, conducted an intelligence-driven operation in Akasia in Gauteng, which resulted in a shootout between the police and three suspects, Muridili said.
The operation followed a tip-off that the three were planning to rob business premises in Amandasig, near Wonder Park.
“The suspects arrived after the business had already closed and so they decided to leave the area. The police pursued the suspects’ vehicle which had no registration plates with three occupants in it. The members subsequently tried to stop the bakkie on the corner of Doreen and First streets in Chantelle suburb, which resulted in a shootout,” Muridili said.
One suspect was killed on the scene and a second died on arrival at a local hospital.
The third managed to flee on foot but he was apprehended on Friday night. He was injured during the shootout and is in a hospital under police guard.
“He will appear in court as soon as he is medically fit to do so,” Muridili said.
Following the shootout, the police recovered three firearms and a bakkie.
“The firearms will be taken to the forensic science laboratory for ballistic testing to determine whether they have been used in other crimes. The bakkie, which is suspected to have been stolen, is currently being analysed by the SAPS’s Vehicle Identification Unit,” Muridili said.
The National CIT Task Team previously arrested four members of the same syndicate in separate incidents in April.
They are all facing charges ranging from aggravated robbery and business robbery to the possession of stolen vehicles and possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.
“The four have already appeared in various courts and [are] in custody. All the arrested men are linked to CIT robberies and it is believed that since the lockdown started, they have been targeting businesses that are operating, such as supermarkets,” Muridili said.