LARNEY ENTRY: The skelms arrived at Bayside Mall in a smart black Lexus

Cape Town - A notorious group of suspects who have gone on a looting spree at malls across Cape Town have finally been caught after a shootout with police in Table View on Friday.

Two members of the crew, known as the “Drain Cover Gang”, will appear in court on Monday after they smashed their way into Dis-Chem at Bayside Mall and stole half a million rand’s worth of perfume.

According to a source, cops across the Western Cape had been looking for the men after a spate of robberies dating back to June, in which the perpetrators used concrete drain covers to smash through glass doors to gain entry during burglaries.

“They are wanted all over and there are so many cases against them in Somerset West, Paarl, Fish Hoek and others,” says the police source.

“They were dubbed the Drain Cover Gang because they use the concrete drain covers to smash through windows and doors at malls to get inside.

“They like to target the Clicks, Mr Price, Markhams and Pick n Pay stores.

“On Friday they came to Bayside Mall in Table View, but looped them vas here because police weren’t messing around.”

The source says shortly after 2am, the crooks drove their posh Lexus straight through the booms on the ground floor of the mall.

“They went to Entrance 4 on the quiet side of the mall and smashed through the glass doors and hit Dis-Chem.

“They just stole perfumes worth thousands and the police were tipped off.

“The officers and security companies surrounded them and caught them as they came out.

“But when they saw they were surrounded, they sommer laat loop on the cops and opened fire like mal mense.

“The cops shot back and got two of the skelms, but one ran away.”

Police spokesperson, Siyabulela Malo, confirms the incident and says swift response from local security companies and police saw the suspects brought to book.

“They intercepted and encountered the suspects in action who started to fire shots at police and security officials,” he says.

“They returned fire and as a result, two suspects were shot and wounded.

“They were subsequently arrested. Meanwhile a third suspect fled the scene.”

He says officers found the dumped loot in a recycling bag, containing expensive perfumes worth about R500 000.

“Other cosmetic products whose value is yet to be determined were also found,” adds Malo.

“No police or security official were injured during the incident.”

The two suspects are expected to appear in the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court on Monday on charges of business burglary and attempted murder.

Daily Voice