Cops bust alleged bicycle theft syndicate after Table View shootout
Cape Town – A suspect thought to be part of a syndicate behind the thefts of expensive bicycles around Cape Town was shot by cops shortly after a burglary in Table View on Wednesday night.
According to a source, while the group have evaded police in Claremont for several months now, Table View cops made a breakthrough and recovered several high-end bikes valued at around R850 000, stolen from Cycles Direct.
“They came to the Sandown Centre in a white VW van and first scoped the area,” says the source.
“Unlike the incident in Claremont, there weren’t any security gates so they just bashed the glass panes with a large concrete block and gained entry and stole the bikes.
“They took all the expensive ones that retail for R90 000 each and upwards.”
The group was spotted by an armed response officer who had responded to the panic button being pushed by a security guard at Cycles Direct.
He alerted police and a roadblock was set up on Malibongwe Drive to stop the suspects from leaving Table View.
“As they approached the police vehicle they refused to stop and a shootout ensued,” says the source.
“The one skelm was shot in the leg and he fell in the road while the others escaped.
“They shot his whole leg off, the bullet went right through the femur.”
Police spokesperson Colonel André Traut confirmed the arrest and says the thieves initially approached a security guard and took his cellphone and hand radio.
“They proceeded to burgle a bicycle shop by gaining access through a window which was smashed with a concrete slab.
“The suspects fled with a number of bicycles in a getaway vehicle.
“The security guard managed to activate a panic button and within minutes the armed response officers arrived at the scene and the suspects fled.
“Table View police were also alerted and soon joined the armed response officers in the apprehension of the fleeing suspects.”
He said the injured suspect was taken to hospital for treatment, and will make his court appearance once he has been discharged.
Earlier this week the owners of Crown Cycles in Claremont raised the alarm after a group of thieves known for using ropes to rip the gates off stores to gain entry had returned.
In July last year, the owners released CCTV footage showing the burglary of bikes worth R300 000 and said that despite showing police proof that the stolen bikes were being sold on WhatsApp. No arrests were made.