THERE was drama in Richmond yesterday morning when two men entered a Pep Stores shop and held up six staff members before taking three of them hostage on a busy street.
Police spokeswoman Inspector Joey Jeevan said the incident occurred at about 8.45 am when two men armed with a shotgun and handgun entered the shop in Chilley Street and held up six employees.
“The employees were forced to open a safe and hand over a large amount of cash, which was placed in a bag. Thereafter three of the employees were taken hostage by the fleeing suspects,” Jeevan said.
The robbers were holding the employees hostage in the street a short distance away from Pep Stores, but a swift response by the police stopped the two men in their tracks, Jeevan said.
Richmond station commissioner Superintendent Jody Riley and members of Richmond SAPS responded to the armed robbery and cornered the two suspects who, realising that they were overpowered, put down their firearms and surrendered to the police.
“The two suspects were immediately arrested and the bag
containing an undisclosed amount of cash seized. Police have also seized the two firearms at the scene,” Jeevan said.
Police could not confirm reports that other conspirators were lurking in a getaway car, and fled when police arrived.
The hostages were not injured and received trauma counselling.
The two suspects, aged 24 and 25, were arrested and will appear in the Richmond Magistrate’s Court shortly.
Police investigations are
Meanwhile, the crime rate in Richmond is reported to have rocketed with a number of businesses falling prey to criminals.
According to employees of Pep, their store has been robbed more than twice this year alone.