National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole has saluted members of the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) Tracking Team after they on Monday night, for the second time, stopped the same suspects from committing a business robbery in Marapyane, near KwaMhlanga.
Two suspects, who are currently out on bail, were arrested at the scene. A police rifle was also recovered
In a statement on Wednesday, the police said the arrests came after the tracking team followed up on information received from Crime Intelligence.
|National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole|
“At about 9:30pm they spotted two vehicles with a total of seven occupants and followed the cars until they flagged them. Instead of stopping, the vehicles sped off and the occupants started firing shots at the police.
“A chase and shootout ensued and the cars eventually stopped at Mokometse village near Vaalbank. Five of the suspects disappeared into the nearby bushes and the police arrested the drivers, aged 34 and 36,” police spokesperson Brenda Muridili said in the statement.
The team is pursuing the suspects that got away and arrests are eminent, she said.
“Preliminary investigations reveal that the suspects are currently on R5000 bail and they were arrested by the same tracking team in November 2018 during another crime intelligence led operation in Eersterust near Pretoria where they had planned to commit a business robbery,” Muridili said.
During the arrest the police recovered an R5 rifle that was robbed from a police vehicle that responded to a robbery where a police Captain from KwaMhlanga police station was shot and killed in 2016.
The suspects are facing charges of possession of prohibited firearm and ammunition, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit robbery and reckless and negligent driving.
Sitole, welcoming the arrests and applauded the continued prevention of planned robberies.
“I am confident that with crime intelligence leading the multidisciplinary teams that prevent, combat and investigate serious and violent crimes such as robberies we will continue to squeeze the space of criminals to zero” said General Sitole.
He went on to warn criminals that the police are aware that they have shifted their modus operandi from committing cash in transit robberies to business robberies