The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) has confirmed the arrest of seven suspected cash-in-transit robbers aged between 31 and 48 near Eastgate on October 20.
The latest arrests come on the back of a series of CIT heists in Gauteng, Limpopo and KZN in recent weeks.
It has been reported that there has been more than 250 CIT robberies since the start of the year.
According to a report by the Cash-in-transit Association of South Africa (Citasa), Gauteng accounts for 32% of CIT heists reported nationally this year.
Citasa says 23% of the heists were reported in the Eastern Cape, with 16% in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Limpopo accounted for 11%, while Mpumalanga had the least CIT heists at 9%.
Hawks spokesperson, Colonel Katlego Mogale said law-enforcement agencies, acting on a tip-off regarding the group’s plans were able to intercept another possible CIT heist.
“Information was received regarding the group’s plans to follow a complainant as he left the bank. The information was operationalised which led the multi-disciplinary team towards Bruma.
“As the team comprising of the Hawks’ Tactical Operations Management Section (TOMS), Gauteng Tactical Response Team, Ekurhuleni Tactical team, PHO Crime Intelligence, SAPS Counter Intelligence, Gauteng Traffic’s Saturation Unit, Gauteng Traffic Police Chopper, CAP Specialised Operations, Tracker Connect, Badboyz Security and IZI Cash Investigation department were observing the suspects, they received information that the suspects had just committed an armed robbery in Primrose, Germiston.”
Mogale said the suspects who were travelling in several vehicles were intercepted after they were spotted near Eastgate mall.
“The team tactically contained the three vehicles, a silver Mercedes Benz CLA, a maroon Ford Fiesta and a white BMW 1 Series.
“Preliminary investigations revealed that the BMW was sought as per Linden case which was registered in August and that the suspects were sought for another robbery, a cash-in-transit robbery committed in Cosmo City last month. The team recovered two unlicensed handguns with ammunition, rifle ammunition, cellphones, gloves and the victim’s belongings,” he said.
The suspects are expected to make their first appearance in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s court today on charges of armed robbery and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.
Mogale said the Hawks could not rule out the possibility that the suspects could be linked to other crimes committed in Gauteng.