Rustenburg - South African Police Service (SAPS) flying squad officers in Rustenburg on Friday foiled a possible armed robbery with a swift response following a "look-out" call received via social media from the anti-crime combatting group “SA Community Crime Watch”, North West police said.
Information pertaining to the whereabouts of a White Mercedes Benz C180 was circulated and flying squad members responded, Captain Elsabe Augoustides said.
Within 30 minutes after receiving the information, the car was spotted at the Ziniaville taxi rank, near Tlhabane at about 11am, she said.
"The vehicle had only one occupant, namely the driver. The driver allegedly started [the car] and reversed the vehicle when he spotted the flying squad vehicles." The car was stopped and searched, and alarmingly, various articles were found in the driver’s possession.
These included a revolver with the serial number filed off, gloves, cable ties, knives, a police appointment certificate, and balaclava’s. The 41-year-old man from Mamelodi in Pretoria was arrested for illegal possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. He was due to appear in the Bafokeng Magistrate’s Court.
"There is a strong possibility that the suspect and his accomplices may be linked to more recent cases that were reported in the area. Further investigation revealed that the vehicle was rented from a rental company," Augoustides said.
Car rental companies or individuals were urged to come forward and assist in the investigation.