A body of an alleged house robber lies in the yard of one of the houses in Lenasia south of Johannesburg after he allegedly committed suicide when he was cornered by the police. 090712 Picture: Boxer Ngwenya

Robbers went head-to-head with the police on Monday, and came off second best in a vicious gun battle and chase that had Lenasia residents locking their doors.

Police shot dead one thug and the other turned his gun on himself when he was cornered in somebody’s yard. The third one was arrested. The gangsters injured one cop.

It all started when the brazen and nonchalant thugs were trying to walk away through a homeowner’s garage after completing their “job”.

The man realised something was amiss when he didn’t recognise the people on his property, but didn’t think it was a robbery, with it being only about 8.15am.

But that all changed when the Swan Street, Lenasia Extension 1, householder noticed a man actually in his garage.

He screamed at the intruder to get out and rushed to a nearby panic button, and pressed it.

He hoped that the sound would scare him, but the gangster remained very casual.

Then the householder noticed that three men had been in his house, and were trying to leave through the garage.

And, rather than running off, he said the intruders simply wandered away down the road.

The householder, who did not want to be named, alerted the suburban security company Rainbow Security.

It joined forces with the police tactical response team, and the hunt was on.

The thugs panicked and tried to hide in houses two streets away.

It wasn’t their day.

They ran through a nearby mosque to make their way to Lark Street, where they split up.

Two of the intruders ran in opposite directions down Lark Street and opened fire on the pursuing officers.

One cop was wounded.

Then Faizel Akoob heard footsteps on his roof, and three gunshots rang out.

He ran to tell his family to lock the kitchen door, and when he looked out of a window into his courtyard, he saw a police officer with an assault rifle and the body of a man, with blood pooling underneath him.

Meanwhile, the other thug was cornered in another yard in the area.

Under pressure, he didn’t waste time. He pointed his 9mm pistol at his head and pulled the trigger.

A police helicopter hovered overhead and patrols went from home to home looking for other suspects.

One suspect was arrested in a domestic worker’s bathroom, apparently after wrapping his gun in plastic and trying to hide it in the cistern.

He put up a huge fight in an attempt to resist arrest, but all he had to show for it was some spectacular bruises.

Lieutenant-Colonel Katlego Mogale said the police officer who was shot several times is in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

Akoob said he was simply glad that “no one inside was hurt”, and that his family was safe.

[email protected]

The Star