Johannesburg - Police in Gauteng responded swiftly after a jewellery store was robbed at the Mall of Africa on Wednesday, fatally wounding one suspect and arresting four others.
After receiving information about the robbery, police intercepted the suspects who were traveling in a BMW X5 in the Ebony Park area.
A chase ensued, leading to the suspects opening fire on the police in the Marlboro area. Police returned fire, fatally wounding one suspect.
Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said the suspects had allegedly made away with expensive watches including pricey Rolex and Breitling watches, which were allegedly stolen during a robbery at the Arthur Kaplan store at the mall.
The expensive watches were recovered, along with a high-calibre rifle and live rounds of ammunition, he said.
“The armed gang shot at the police when they were intercepted in Marlboro and police returned fire resulting to one suspect being fatally shot and four arrested on the spot.
“Police recovered high calibre firearm as they effect arrests. Jewellery that includes Rolex, Breitling, Omega and TAG Heuer watches were recovered,” said Masondo.
He said police received information about a business robbery that occurred at a jewellery shop at the Mall of Africa at about 7.30pm.
Mall of Africa’s general manager Johann Fourie confirmed the incident and said no patrons were injured during the robbery.
“Our priority is the safety and security of our shoppers, tenants, their people and their assets. We will continue to enhance our security measures to mitigate against future incidents,” he said on Thursday.
Masondo said the four suspects would face charges of business robbery, attempted murder, possession of suspected stolen property, reckless and negligent driving, possession of prohibited firearm and ammunitions.
Gauteng provincial commissioner Lieutenant General Elias Mawela said: “As we are intensifying our crime prevention operations, O Kae Molao, criminals will not hide because the space is getting smaller and smaller and we are urging members of the community to isolate criminals, ” he said.
The 2018/19 crime states, which were released on Thursday, showed that Gauteng had the highest prevalence of business robberies, with 6 662 incidences. It was slightly, compared to 6 679 incidences recorded in 2017/18.
Meanwhile, police officers arrested four men in Soweto on Thursday morning when they intercepted a suspicious vehicle with four men in the Emndeni area of the township.
Police recovered two unlicensed firearms and impounded the vehicle they were travelling in, a Toyota Avanza.
“At this stage they will be charged with possession of unlicensed firearms while police are continuing to profile them,” said Masondo.IOL