Durban - Police rescued an alleged armed robber from angry community members after he apparently tried to rob a delivery truck dropping off goods in the the Manamani Village in Polokwane.
The incident took place on Monday at around 8.30am.
Provincial police spokesperson, Colonel Malesela Ledwaba said police received a report about members of the community who were busy assaulting a suspect in the village.
“The Public Order Police were activated and promptly responded to the information that led to a raging mob that was busy assaulting the alleged suspect. They tactically approached the crowd and managed to rescue him,” he said.
Ledwaba said preliminary investigations revealed that the suspect was allegedly involved in an armed robbery incident.
“It is alleged a bakery truck was delivering stock at a local spaza shop when there was an attempted hijacking at gunpoint. The truck driver managed to fight the suspects in the vehicle while shouting for help.
“It is further alleged that the community came to his rescue, and one of the suspects was caught while the others managed to escape. The suspect was brutally assaulted until police came to his rescue,” he said.
Ledwaba said police recovered an unlicensed firearm and seven rounds of ammunition.
The Provincial Commissioner of Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe appealed to the community to not take the law into their own hands.
"I would like to caution the public not to take the law into their own hands. Citizen arrest is recommended and the suspect should be handed immediately to the police to allow the law to take it's course, rather than committing mob justice, which is a crime. The police will not tolerate any form of violence, including mob justice,“ Hadebe said.
The suspect is expected to appear in the Thohoyandou Magistrate’s Court soon facing a charge of armed robbery.
Police said a manhunt was under way for the remaining suspects.