Supermarket robbery gang behind bars
Durban - A gang of armed robbers are behind bars after pulling off two daring robberies north of Durban on Wednesday.
The men were arrested in Greenwood Park after their planned robbery went wrong on Wednesday night.
In the first incident six men entered U-Save in oThongathi and robbed the staff and customers of phones and an undisclosed amount of cash. Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said at 17:55, a victim was performing her duties as a cashier at the supermarket on Old Main Road in oThongathi when she was approached by a group of suspects.
"At gunpoint the suspects forced the customers to lie down. They robbed the store manager of his cellphone, cash, firearm and removed an undisclosed amount of cash from the till," Mbele said.
A case of robbery was opened at oThongathi police station for investigation.
While police have not linked them directly to a robbery in Greenwood Park several security company sources said the men fit the description.
Mbele said that at 19:30, a group of armed suspects entered a supermarket situated on Park Station Road and held up the employees.
"At gunpoint they forced the patrons to lie on the floor, demanded cash, cigarettes and cellphones. They ransacked the premises and took cash, cigarettes, cellphones and airtime before fleeing the scene,"she said.
While they were fleeing the scene, they men were confronted by police officers who were in the vicinity.
Mbele said there was a shoot-out.
"A 32-year-old suspect was fatally shot. A revolver was found next to the deceased suspect. Three suspects were arrested,"Mbele said.
Marshall Security spokesperson Kyle Van Reenen said one suspect was arrested on Celtic Road whilst another was chased and apprehended on Workington Grove.
"With the assistance of the South African Police Services Durban K9 Unit and the Provincial Task Team was called for and an extensive search of the area was conducted. A police K9 tracked a suspect to a nearby property. In an attempt to evade arrest the suspect produced a firearm and was shot and killed by members of the SAPS. A third suspect was apprehended by members of the public after at the convenience store," he said.
"A search of the suspects found them to be in possession of cash and other items confirmed to have been taken in the robbery. Their accomplices remain at large. It is believed the suspects are linked to a spate of robberies in the area lately, including an armed robbery of the same business premises last week,"he added.
Charges of robbery, attempted murder, possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition and an inquest docket are being investigated by Greenwood SAPS.
The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula commended the police officers for the speedy arrest of the suspects.
“The investigative team is busy profiling the suspects to determine if they can be linked to other robbery cases reported in the province,” he said.