Johannesburg – Gauteng police are probing a string of brazen ATM robberies that have swept across the province in recent weeks.
This comes after an ATM was bombed in Naledi, Soweto, in the early hours of Thursday morning, with the robbers getting away with an undisclosed amount of cash.
“An ATM was bombed at the Shoprite in Naledi and the robbers got away,” police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele said.
“At this point we cannot confirm the number of suspects that were involved and no arrests have been made, but investigations are ongoing,” he said.
Makhubele said another ATM was bombed at a Caltex garage in Rockville on Thursday, when robbers also fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.
He said it appeared to be tricky to enforce security measures as crooks targeted ATMs after police officers had passed key points during their patrols.
“We are always patrolling around areas where there are ATMS as a strategy, but suspects make their moves after we have passed and it’s difficult to apprehend them."
“A number of ATMs have been targeted in recent weeks around the province. Our members have been patrolling,” Makhubele said.
He was not able to confirm the number of bombings that have taken place in the province over the past few weeks.
Meanwhile, the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) previously said banks and cash in transit companies were constantly deploying additional security measures as a deterrent in their efforts to curb fraud and robbery incidents.
Sabric chief executive Kalyani Pillay said bank security was taken seriously and that constant review measures were considered depending on the threats emerging.
However, she said Sabric could not disclose these measures as it would further expose ATMs and create greater risk.
“The relationship with the SAPS is a good one and has yielded some good results with certain types of crime,” Pillay said. “However, a large number of perpetrators are still at large and much work remains to ensure that effective arrests and successful prosecutions occur.”
Despite there being a 20% increase in the number of ATM bombings in Gauteng, Sabric and the police, banks and information technology companies were working closely on interventions to deal with the current scourge.
She urged the public to come forward with information that could assist the investigations.