Group held after brazen robbery

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Copy of ca p4 Evergreen Lane_7155 DONe Independent Newspapers Sunday night saw a shootout in Evergreen Lane in Constantia between police and criminals who were pursued from Hout Bay. Picture: Tracey Adams

Cape Town - A brazen robbery in Hout Bay’s business district ended in a gunfight when police chased the robbers to the leafy suburb of Constantia.

Evergreen Lane roared with the sound of chainsaws on Monday afternoon as gardeners toppled a tree inside a manicured green lawn.

Two women walked a trio of dogs - straining against their leashes - through the neighbourhood.

Just a day earlier, the cul-de-sac had been the site of an intense showdown between cops and criminals.

Police spokesman Warrant Officer Derek van der Merwe told the Cape Argus the chase had begun in Hout Bay when police responded to a pair of business robberies in the coastal area on Sunday night.

They were on the lookout for a car linked to the crimes, which they spotted travelling down Constantia Nek at about 7pm.

“They then gave chase,” said Van der Merwe.

The car chase took them through 11km of winding roads, all the way through to Constantia, where the robbers found themselves trapped in Evergreen Lane - which on its one side is an abrupt dead end.

It was then that the four men inside jumped from the vehicle and fled. Reportedly two ran towards the robots on Constantia Main Road, the other in directions the police could not make out.

While police insist there was no gunfight, residents clearly heard a shootout at about 7.30pm.

“I heard this crack of gunfire - it was sporadic. And then there was something else, a helicopter or plane and some sirens,” said one resident walking down the road.

“It was over very quickly.”

Another resident had been startled when she heard sirens approaching the road, followed by shouting and then some gunshots.

“It was very loud, but I didn’t see what happened.”

However, there were no injuries. Van der Merwe said two men were arrested during the chase. They were found with stolen property and a firearm.

According to residents, the other two men managed to get back into the car and speed off. But they were later intercepted elsewhere in the neighbourhood.

“An undisclosed amount of money was found in their possession,” said Van der Merwe.

The group will appear in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday. A case of robbery with aggravating circumstances is being investigated.

- Cape Argus

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