Hunt on for suspects who stole firearms, phones and a laptop after robbing cops at Cape satellite station
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Cape Town - The Hawks have launched a manhunt for three suspects who held up women police officers at Sir Lowry’s Pass satellite police station on Saturday night and made off with firearms, cellphones and a laptop.
Police spokesperson Andrè Traut said at around 9pm the suspects, who were armed, approached two officers who were on duty in the community service centre and held them at gunpoint. Traut said they disarmed the police officers and fled with two 9mm service pistols, three cellphones and a laptop computer.
He said the members were fortunately not injured during the incident.
A police report seen by the Cape Argus stated the suspects allegedly told the officers they wanted to certify some papers, but two of them took out firearms and the other one went around the counter and tied the officers up and demanded the safe keys.
“One of them took the safe keys, opened the safe and took out one pistol, and another one took an officer’s firearm in the holster.”
Coincidentally, the incident happened the same night that Police Minister Bheki Cele and Provincial Commissioner Thembisile Patekile were busy launching the provincial Safer Festive Season operations and the Country in Blue concept in the Western Cape.
Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said he was in contact with Patekile and he advised that the matter was under the investigation of the Hawks.
“Now that we are entering the festive season, criminals will target vulnerabilities, and so I call on the police to beef up security especially at satellite police stations, and to make sure we don't have a situation where there are only one or two females on duty, especially on the night shift," said Fritz.
Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) spokesperson Richard Mamabolo said the union was incensed by the latest spate of attacks on police stations.
Mamabolo said it was fortunate those officers were not injured during the incident.
“It has become increasingly concerning that at every instance those attacks were becoming a norm, and therefore compromising the much needed service delivery those stations were supposed to provide to communities.
“This brazen attack is part of a continued sequence of attacks targeted at law enforcement officers across different provinces, having left many officers either injured or deceased,” Mamabolo said.
He said they take place at a time when the criminal justice cluster was faced with many internal challenges, including under-staffing and the lack of sufficient resources in efficiently servicing communities, and therefore further fuelling avoidable tensions between the two.
Anyone with information can contact Crime Stop anonymously at 08600 10111 or via the MySAPSApp.