Cash van robbed outside supermarket

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Johannesburg - A cash-in-transit armed robbery in Eldorado Park on Wednesday led to a security guard being wounded and an undisclosed amount of cash stolen.

At about 8.45am, a guard from G4S Secure Solutions was carrying money from a Spar supermarket to an armoured vehicle when he was shot near his right shoulder and fell to the ground.

Robbers made away with the cash in a silver Corsa bakkie, said SAPS spokesman Captain Phillemon Khorombi.

The guard was driven by Spar workers to a nearby clinic, where an ambulance picked him up to transport him to hospital.

By 11am, police vehicles had swarmed the Spar parking lot, and the shopping centre remained closed and surrounded by yellow tape. Bystanders gathered around the closed gate to observe the crime scene.

Spar owner Desiree Coetzee said her daughter gave the guard the money inside the store. When he stepped outside to meet another guard waiting in the armed vehicle, he was shot. She said several robbers ran across the parking lot with the money to meet a driver in the Corsa.

Spar security guard Jack Lenyore said he was in the back of the store when he heard the shooting. He ran to the front of the store and saw the guard on the ground.

Though he did not witness the crime, he said others had told him the gunman had run from the ATMs on the side of the store towards the guard.

No arrest had been made, but Coetzee said she believed the robber’s face was captured on CCTV, and she hoped an arrest would follow soon.

“We are appealing to anyone who can give any information regarding the suspect,” Khorombi said.

This is not the only time cash vans have been targeted in the area. In May 2012, police followed suspects of a cash-in-transit robbery in a high-speed car chase from Eldorado Park to Freedom Park.

Police caught four suspected robbers and shot another dead.

However, Coetzee said she had not seen a robbery near her shop in a long time and did not think the event would deter customers from shopping at the Spar.

“I think our people are used to the crime,” she said. “They will still come.”

The area of Eldorado Park near the shopping centre did not normally see a lot of gun violence, but any kind of crime was bad for the community, said Pule Mwamande, who has worked in the neighbourhood for nine years and visited the crime scene.

When crime increased, banks and stores would be less likely to open shop in Eldorado Park, inconveniencing its residents, said Mwamande, adding he hoped the neighbourhood would try to be more vigilant regarding those committing crime.

“The community, they are the ones who are going to suffer. Once the community come together, fighting crime is a very easy thing.”

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