With more than 200 cash-in-transit (CIT) heists committed in the country this year, the picture of police succeeding to arrest the spate of robberies looks grim.
By April, just four months into the year, reports indicated that CIT robberies had increased by 24% over the first three months of this year compared to the same period in 2022.
On Wednesday, police were able to track down a group of 15 suspects who had just completed yet another robbery in Springs.
As the police were tracking down the suspects, a gun fight between the group and police ensued, resulting in the death of one suspect and the arrest of two, and the escape of 12 of the suspects who are still being sought by the police for this latest incident.
According to the police, the security guards had just picked up money from various outlets and were en route to their base when they were disarmed and their vehicle bombed.
In recent weeks, CIT heists have been in the spotlight, with the increasing brazen attacks taking place almost daily.
According to the latest CITASA (Cash in Transit Association of South Africa) report, the industry has seen a total of 217 cash-in- transit robberies across the country in the period January – August, compared to just 191 in 2022 and 188 in 2021.
CEO of Fidelity Security Service Group, Wahl Bartmann, says increasing visibility is absolutely key, with the need for police to increase their resources in stemming the tide against cash-in-transit robberies.
“At least we would expect authorities to concentrate resources where the majority of the attacks are taking place. Within the Fidelity footprint, the areas of concern are Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Eastern Cape and Gauteng.
Bartmann said, as a company, they too have invested resources and research into developing technologies against robberies.
“As Fidelity, we have invested a lot of time, money and research into developing and on-boarding technological defence mechanisms, as well as in the training of our highly skilled officers. The safety of our officers is key. It is essential that we continuously evolve to defend against these changing tactics,” he said.
The latest in a spate of heists took place in Springs before at least 15 suspects travelling in different cars drove towards the M1 South, where a shootout with the police ensued, resulting in one suspect being killed and two others being arrested by the police. Of the suspects, at least 12 are said to be still on the run.
According to CITASA, the majority of the robberies took place in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape, followed by Mpumalanga and Limpopo.