FIVE suspected criminals murdered a Strandfontein man in a hijacking earlier this week, then less than 24 hours later attempted to rob a jewellery store at Cavendish Square Shopping Centre.
The five suspects, who used the deceased man's vehicle as their getaway car, were arrested in Claremont yesterday and are due to appear in court soon.
Grant Fredericks, 39, was murdered in Milano Way, Strandfontein, on Tuesday night and the suspects, aged between 23 and 32, fled in his car.
Less than a day later, the suspects attempted to rob Trigg Jewellers in Cavendish Square, but fled after one of the staff members activated the security alarm.
“Soon after they entered, they scattered around the shop. We were afraid and our temperatures were high for a moment.
"We were saved by the alarm. Had it not rang, we don't know what might have happened,” said a staff member, who feared being named.
Police spokesperson André Traut said police followed up the complaint and caught the suspects, one of whom had a gun.
“They were also found in possession of a stolen VW Polo, which was traced to an incident (on Tuesday) in Strandfontein, where a 39-year-old man was shot and killed during the robbery of his vehicle,” Traut said.
The five suspects are expected to appear in court on charges of murder, attempted armed robbery and the possession of a firearm.
Strandfontein CPF spokesperson Sandy Schuter said residents were shaken by the incident. “Residents are shocked, and our victim support and counselling staff have visited his family to offer help.”
Mall spokesperson Lana Maree said: “Cavendish Square Shopping Centre confirms that an attempted robbery took place at about 10.30am when armed men entered Trigg Jewellers. No merchandise was stolen and the suspects were caught at the scene.
"Cavendish Square Shopping Centre would like to thank all roleplayers for their quick response and support.”
Meanwhile, at about 10am yesterday, four suspects burgled a house in Riviera Road, Upper Claremont, after they gained access with a crowbar. They fled the scene with a flat-screen TV and jewellery, but collided with another car in Newlands before fleeing on foot.
One of the suspects was arrested and will appear in court soon.