ATM bombers nabbed after shootout in Bushbuckridge
Police arrested three men on Wednesday morning after they blew up ATMs and robbed a bank in Mpumalanga. A security guard was shot and killed in a shootout.
The police received a tip-off about 3am that Standard Bank in the Bushbuckridge Complex in Bushbuckridge was being robbed. The robbers entered the bank through the roof and used explosives to blow up two ATMs‚ before stealing an undisclosed amount of cash.
Police spokesperson Captain Dineo Sekgotodi said that as police and security guards approached the scene the suspects shot at them.
“The police retaliated. During the crossfire the security guard was fatally wounded by the suspects.”
The police arrested the three suspects‚ aged between 37 and 52‚ in Hazyview.
They are expected to appear in the Hazyview Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
Meanwhile‚ the Hawks in the Free State arrested six suspects allegedly part of a syndicate during a sting operation on Tuesday in Welkom and Thabong.
The suspects allegedly sold illegal firearms and commercial explosives believed to be used for ATM bombings and in cash-in-transit vehicles.
They are aged between 24 and 59‚ and include one former police officer and two current police officers stationed in Thabong.
Hawks spokesperson Captain S’fiso Nyakane said: “A series of undercover transactions were conducted with the suspects wherein members bought firearms and explosives.”
This culminated in their arrests in Thabong and Welkom respectively‚ said Nyakane. The suspects are expected to appear in the Welkom Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.