Cape Town - The notorious gang of fake cops thought to be responsible for a spree of armed robberies in greater Cape Town have been snared.
At half a dozen sites men dressed smartly in official police uniforms staged hold-ups at stores.
Last Tuesday, five men in full police uniform and with handguns entered a jewellery store in Green Point and told the jeweller they wanted an item made for their lieutenant.
But when the jeweller, who gave his name only as Nick, asked them for identification, they grabbed him and other staff and locked them in the storeroom.
They then stole diamonds, other gems and jewellery worth thousands of rand.
Witnesses said the men looked like real police officers and were carrying radios and firearms - which they did not use.
Police spokesman FC van Wyk reported that the Bellville police Shift and Crime Prevention Unit members were on Tuesday warned about the gang.
“A White Nissan Tiida, with registration number CA 665 435 was given as a lookout. According to the information received, this vehicle was involved in business robberies in Cape Town, Milnerton, Parow and several other places in the Western Cape. It’s suspected the suspects were responsible for robbing a jewellery shop in Green Point last week,” Van Wyk said.
“During patrols in the Bellville area (on Tuesday) the vehicle was spotted by Crime Prevention Unit members and pulled over. Four suspects between the ages of 17 and 30 who are from Tanzania were arrested.”
The suspects were detained and are due to appear in court.
At the scene of the last robbery, one witness said of the supposed police officers: “It was pretty surreal and unbelievable. Some of them must have been policemen or ex-policemen.”