Johannesburg – Parts of the M1 highway south and north were temporarily closed after a shoot-out between cash-in-transit (CIT) robbers and the police on Wednesday night, leading to traffic jams on Thursday morning.
The SAPS confirmed that two suspects had been arrested. One was killed in the shooting.
The suspects were reported to have committed their crime in Springs, Ekurhuleni, and were being tracked by the police after a robbery there.
On Thursday, acting National Commissioner of the SAPS, Lieutenant General Tebello Mosikili, commended the Gauteng police for tracing and arresting the suspects within three hours of the commission of the crime.
SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said the heist took place at 5.15pm on Wednesday, when armed suspects forced a cash van to stop.
“The security guards had just picked up money from various outlets and were on their way back to their base when they were disarmed and the cash van bombed. The suspects got away with an undisclosed amount of money,” Mathe said.
Police attached to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) and the Johannesburg Flying Squad tracked down the suspects who were travelling on the M1 South just before the Booysens off-ramp at 8.20pm.
“A shoot-out ensued with the suspects, who were travelling in a Toyota Quantum. One suspect was certified dead at the scene, while two others were apprehended. Three rifles were recovered, and cash and two cellphones have been seized. Two empty cash bags as well as implements used in armed robberies were found in their getaway vehicle,” Mathe said.
Mathe said a search was under way for the suspects who fled. One police officer was shot and is in hospital.
Mosikili praised the police for remaining on high alert.
“Well done to the team for the swift reaction. We continue to deal decisively with serious and violent crime in various provinces, and we continue to take down syndicates and groups involved in these crimes. Either they surrender or we will continue to hunt and take them down. A speedy recovery to our member who is in the hospital,” said Mosikili.
According to media reports, there have been more than 200 cash-in-transit heists this year.