Trio held after R1m heist, shopping spree

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R1m robbery PRETORIA NEWS A firearm and R200 000 were recovered after the arrest of three men following a cash van heist in Marabastad. Photo: Phill Magakoe

Pretoria - Their R1-million robbery was followed by a R25 000 shopping spree for designer clothes and a luxury car to reward themselves.

For moviegoers, this might sound like a scene from the crime thriller Takers that follows a group of professional bank robbers who specialise in spectacular robberies. But this is what happened in the capital at the weekend.

On Saturday, a cash van was loading an ATM in Marabastad when the two guards and a bank employee were ‘’ambushed’’ by criminals.

It is alleged that while one security guard and a bank employee were loading the cash machine, another guard stood outside but was surprised by a gun-wielding robber.

Police spokeswoman Lieutenant-Colonel Katlego Mogale said the guard was ordered at gunpoint to tell his colleague who was loading the ATM to open the door.

The suspect gained entry and “then fled with an undisclosed amount of cash and the guards’ cellphones. With the help of his accomplice he also disarmed the guards”.

Mogale said that before fleeing in a car the suspects also managed to get hold of the device used to open the cash boxes.

The suspects thought they had pulled off the perfect crime and indulged in a shopping spree the next day.

Officers close to the investigations said the manner in which the crime had been pulled off did not sit well with them and they continued digging.

Their investigations revealed that the crime was an inside job involving the three ‘’victims’’ who had reported the crime.

Through a tip-off police arrested four suspects aged 40, 38, 32 and 29. Two were arrested on Monday night and two early on Tuesday in Mamelodi and Eersterus.

Police recovered about R200 000 in cash, a red BMW 3 series that was allegedly bought using the stolen money and new cellphones valued at about R15 000.

An officer, who asked not to be named, said: “Police also recovered designer clothes bought for R25 000 and an unlicensed 9mm firearm.”

Police are still on the hunt for a suspect who is on the run.

Mogale said the suspects would appear in court soon.

Pretoria News

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