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Cape Town - A security guard was wounded and two suspects, one of whom also sustained gunshot wounds, were arrested following a cash-in-transit (CIT) robbery near Forest Drive in Eerste River in Cape Town, the South African Police Service (SAPS) said on Sunday.

A group of armed men attacked a cash-in-transit vehicle at about 3 pm on Saturday afternoon, wounding the driver in the leg, Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said.

"They robbed the two guards and driver of their handguns, blew up the rear door of the CIT vehicle, and made off with an undisclosed amount of money," he said.

An off-duty SAPS member witnessed the incident and called for back-up. A police captain with his Blue Downs policing cluster team responded to the incident. A shoot-out ensued between police and the suspects, and some suspects fled on foot and others in vehicles. However, SAPS arrested two suspects, aged 34 and 47. The 34-year-old had been shot in his upper body.

The officers from the cluster crime combatting unit also recovered a rifle and a pistol, with the serial numbers erased, in the veld through which the remaining suspects fled. The team also recovered three vehicles at a nearby cemetery. These were a Mercedes Benz which had been confirmed to be a stolen vehicle, a Hyundai Tucson, and a Ford Fiesta. The Hyundai and the Ford were still being investigated to determine ownership. The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) had been tasked with the investigation, Naidoo said.

National police commissioner Lt-Gen Khehla John Sitole had ordered that the 72-hour activation plan be mobilised. This plan comprised of the mobilisation of various disciplines of the SAPS as well as resources, including members from crime intelligence, forensic experts, detectives, and other specialised units.

The purpose of the activation plan was to ensure that all critical intelligence and evidence which could assist in successfully tracing the culprits was not overlooked or lost. The activation plan had proven to be extremely effective in many instances of serious crimes, Naidoo said.

Sitole lauded the off-duty policeman as well as the members from Blue Downs policing cluster for their speedy response. "The continued speedy response by our members highlights our commitment in stamping the authority of the state. Criminals must consider this as a warning that there are no easy pickings for them,” Sitole said.

African News Agency/ANA