High noon as cops corner robbers

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sunnyside robbery INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS A police officer searches for clues from a car used by thugs to flee a robbery in Sunnyside was later involved in a shooting with police. Photo: Phill Magakoe

The streets of Sunnyside and Arcadia were like a scene from a badly directed Hollywood movie on Thursday, with cops against rookie robbers trying to make a quick buck.

The drama started when three men decided to rob a minimarket in Sunnyside owned by a Pakistani national. Two of the men entered the store with firearms and fake police identity cards, demanding to see the owner’s asylum permits.

It is alleged that the men then robbed the store of almost R5 000 before moving to the back rooms to steal the owner’s two cellphones and his wallet.

Owner Shawon Sarkar said he was surprised to see the two men but did not think much of it as they had produced police identity cards.

“They just came and demanded our papers. While we were getting them, they produced the guns and demanded money from my worker.”

With all the commotion inside, a man who was in one of the back rooms managed to escape and alerted police officers nearby.

The officers stood watch outside and waited for the men to come out.

Realising that their plan had been compromised, the suspects fled the shop in a hurry but left one gun inside the shop.

One suspect saw police and ran away while the other one jumped into a black VW Golf getaway car.

A chase began along the streets of Sunnyside, with police and the suspects exchanging gun shots.

Police spokeswoman Ann Poortman said police had tailed the suspects until they got near the Union Buildings where one jumped out of the moving car and fled on foot.

“Officers continued chasing the car until the driver rammed it into the back of another car at the intersection of Steve Biko (Beatrix) and Edmond Street.

“Police managed to overtake the suspect and cornered him.”

Poortman said no one had beenshot during the exchange of gunfire.

The car came to a standstill facing oncoming traffic on the corner of Bailey and Edmond streets. The suspect, who is believed to have neck injuries, was transported to hospital. Police recovered the money along with a pistol while searching the vehicle.

The suspect is facing charges of business robbery, possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition, possession of stolen property, reckless and negligent driving and attempted murder.

The search for the two other suspects who ran away is continuing.

Pretoria News

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