Cash-in-transit robbers flee in hijacked police van after shoot-out in the Cape
Brazen gunmen ambushed a cash-in-transit vehicle and then hijacked two vehicles – one of them a police van - in a bid to escape with the stolen cash after a shoot-out.
A group of men executed the heist at Klapmuts in the Western Cape around 6pm on Monday, but things did not go smoothly.
As they were stealing the cash, the gang hijacked a Toyota Fortuner driving past the robbery, explained national police spokesperson Brig Vishnu Naidoo.
"The suspects stole an undisclosed amount of cash and fled on the R44 but as they reached Cloetesville they were cornered by members of the SAPS who were responding to the robbery," said Naidoo.
"A shoot-out ensued but the brazen suspects abandoned their vehicle in front of Cloetesville police station, jumped into a police van and sped off."
While being pursued in the police van, the suspects lost control and crashed.
"They abandoned the damaged police vehicle and continued to flee on foot in different directions."
Police managed to track down and arrest two of the suspects, aged 37 and 43. A manhunt is under way for the suspects who escaped.
Naidoo added that there would be an investigation to establish how the suspects managed to get the keys to the police van.
National police commissioner Gen Khehla Sitole said: "After speaking to the provincial commissioner of the Western Cape, Lt-Gen Jula, I have directed that the 72-hour activation plan be implemented in an effort to apprehend the remaining suspects.”
Two assault rifles, a revolver and a bag of money were recovered.
"Two police vans were damaged but fortunately our police officers escaped unscathed and no other injuries have been reported," said Naidoo.
Meanwhile, in a separate incident, two suspects from Thabong were arrested after an attempted cash-in-transit heist at Virginia in the Free State on Sunday.
"G4S security guards were collecting money at a local chain store in Virginia when they were accosted by three armed suspects who randomly opened fire," said Hawks spokesperson WO Lynda Steyn.
"The guards retaliated and two of the suspects and a female staff member at the store were wounded during the skirmish."
The Hawks traced two suspects to a hospital in Welkom where they were arrested. One suspect is still at large.