'Finger gang' suspects arrested

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IOL feb 6  crime tape Independent Newspapers

Durban - Residents of Durban’s Highway suburbs can breathe a sigh of relief after two men, believed to be members of the so-called finger gang, were arrested on Wednesday.

Nico Potgieter, of the security company Enforce, said the identities of other gang members were known and that more arrests were expected.

The gang has terrorised Westville, Hillcrest and Kloof in recent months.

There have been reports of four to five heavily armed men storming homes while residents were on the premises, threatening them and demanding cash and valuables. On one occasion they threatened to hack off a man’s wedding ring and, on another, a gang member removed a ring from his victim’s finger with his teeth.

Potgieter said the men arrested on Wednesday were local, in their late twenties and linked to an incident that took place in Ridge Road, Hillcrest, on January 25.

A revolver allegedly used during the crime was found under one suspect’s pillow.

According to media reports, a family of 10 was sitting around a table when five men forced their way into the house. Homeowner Elvis Green, 55, was grazed by a bullet during a scuffle with the intruders before they made off with his daughter’s car. One suspect was arrested that night.

Wednesday’s arrests were a result of the joint efforts of police and Enforce investigators.

“After the incident the suspects went into hiding. On Tuesday we received information that they had come out,” said Potgieter. Police received the same information and the arrests in KwaNyuswa, near Botha’s Hill, were carried out in a joint operation in the early hours.

At least six cases of armed robbery – three in Kloof, two in Hillcrest and one in Westville – were opened last month.

The Mercury

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