Cigarette heist turns deadlyComment on this story
Cape Town - A suspected robber was shot dead and his alleged accomplice wounded by a security guard when they attempted to rob a cigarette delivery truck parked outside a shop in Athlone on Wednesday.
The two, along with another man, were in a white Uno.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut said the attempted robbery occurred at 8.45am at a shop on the corner of Voël Street and 3rd Avenue.
“The robbers approached the occupants of the delivery vehicle and held them at gunpoint while robbing them of the cargo - three boxes of cigarettes.
The security guard said he was inside the shop when the robbers approached.
He said he had seen the Uno driving in the area. He had gone into the shop to buy a packet of chips.
“As I was buying the chips I heard someone call out that ‘there’s a robbery’. When I got out I saw the bakkie and fired shots at it.
“I quickly got into my van and followed still firing shots until the driver of the bakkie lost control and knocked into someone’s yard.”
He said two men fled from the bakkie, leaving a third man dead in the passenger seat.
Witness Jeffrey April said he had heard squealing tyres, then several gunshots.
“I saw two tall men running, one was dressed in a grey tracksuit and was holding his arm.
“The security guard kept firing shots at them as the two men ran.”
April said cigarettes were scattered the street and passers-by helped themselves.
British American Tobacco (BAT) SA spokeswoman Cindy Maneveld confirmed that a company vehicle had been involved in an attempted robbery.
“As a member of the fast-moving consumer goods industry… BAT South Africa is, from time to time affected by criminal activity.
“All criminal losses, no matter when or where, are of great concern to us, and we strongly condemn activity of this nature.”
Maneveld said the potential threat of criminal activity was taken very seriously.
“With the safety of our employees being our priority, we have employed a reputable private security provider, Fidelity Security Services, to provide support for all of our employees in the field.”
Traut said no arrests had been made and the matter was under investigation.
* In April, a bread delivery truck was hijacked in Nyanga. Hijackers shot and killed a security guard and wounded another injured. No arrests were made.
* In March, a cigarette delivery truck was hijacked in Westlake.
The robbers held the driver at gunpoint. The cigarettes were offloaded from the truck and loaded into a private vehicle.
The robbers were arrested in Khayelitsha a few hours later.