Police looking for cash-in-transit heist gang
MBOMBELA - Members of the South African Police Service are looking for a gang of men who carried out a cash-in-transit heist. The incident occurred on the University of Mpumalanga Road, on the outskirts of Nelspruit, at 05:00.
The gang of approximately 10 men used a brownish Mercedes Benz with GP registration plates to force the CIT van off the road. Once stationery, the gang opened fire on the armoured vehicle. The security guards returned fire from inside their vehicle.
The suspects managed to blast the van with the guards still inside and gathered an undisclosed amount of cash. At this point the security company’s Reaction Unit showed up. The gun battle continued and one suspect was fatally wounded. He was wearing a bullet resistant vest, believed to be the property of the SAPS. A police officer was also injured. The rest of the suspects managed to flee the scene with a number of vehicles. One of the vehicles, a white BMW X5 with false Limpopo Province registration plates, was found abandoned not very far from the crime scene.
The police responded swiftly and recovered two AK 47 rifles, an R5 rifle, a 9mm pistol, another bullet resistant vest as well as a balaclava. At this stage, the police are questioning how the police officer, travelling in a state vehicle, got to be shot and injured in the vicinity of the crime scene.
The Provincial Commissioner of police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma commended the members of the security company for their prompt response as well as the brave crew for standing their ground inside their vehicle in the face of calamity. Zuma has instructed all the police units involved, including the Hawks, to ensure that the suspects are brought to book.
Anyone with information that may assist in the investigation is requested to contact Col William Mokonyama on 082-565-7099 or the SAPS Crime Line, 08600-10111.
Submitted by: Brig Leonard Hlathi