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Pretoria - Two police officers were shot and wounded during a shoot-out with robbers at the Batho Pele Plaza in Soshanguve on Monday.
One of the five suspects involved in the business robbery at Nizams General Dealer was also shot and wounded by one of his accomplices and was dumped during a high-speed chase.
He is now under police guard in hospital.
As if in a scene from an action movie, several cars and a police vehicle at the shopping centre were riddled with bullet holes.
Police spokesman Warrant Officer Lolo Mangena said that five suspects, all of whom where armed, held up the four owners of the general dealer.
“Four of them went inside while the fifth waited outside. The four went in and asked the owners to take them to the safe where they demanded cash,” Mangena said.
A security guard had noticed the suspicious activity and slipped out a back door. He approached the front of the shop and while peeping into the window, the fifth suspect spotted him.
“The suspect put a gun to his head and brought him into the shop. The security guard was cuffed with his own handcuffs and his cellphone and radio were taken. The suspects managed to take money amounting to a few thousand from the safe.
“During this time a passer-by had noticed what was happening and called police.”
Police arrived on the scene as the robbers were making their way to their white Corsa getaway vehicle.
The robbers opened fire and police retaliated, Mangena said. During the crossfire one of the robbers was injured by his accomplice.
“One of the officers slipped and one of the suspects ran towards him, shot him in the hip and took his R5 rifle. The other officer tried to help him and he was shot at as well. The suspects fled.”
According to Mangena, a high-speed chase ensued but was short-lived.
“Along the way the injured suspect was thrown out of the vehicle and tried to run away, but police managed to apprehend and arrest him.”
Police are still on the hunt for the four other robbers who got away.