'Rolex gang' members were out on bail, parole when bust in Sandton
Three men arrested at the weekend on suspicion of being involved in "Rolex robberies" in Johannesburg have criminal histories.
Johannesburg MMC for public safety Michael Sun said two of them were out on parole for serious crimes and a third was previously sentenced to 20 years behind bars for armed robbery.
The third suspect was out on bail pending an appeal against his sentence.
"All three suspects had some sort of serious criminal record," Sun told TimesLIVE on Tuesday.
The trio was arrested in a joint operation by the metro police's K9 unit, the Hawks, Bad Boyz Security, the SA police and Tracker at the weekend.
A task team was activated on Sunday after information was received about a planned robbery in Sandton.
JMPD spokesperson chief superintendent Wayne Minnaar said members were positioned strategically to look out for the suspects.
The suspects were spotted in Sandton, allegedly scouting for possible victims.
They were travelling in a Golf 6 GTI with fake number plates and a Renault Sandero.
Minnaar said the men later made their way to the Pineslopes shopping centre in Fourways, where they seemed to have spotted a victim.
Both cars left the mall and closely followed a vehicle to William Nicol Drive.
Minnaar said with help from the Pretoria police Air Wing helicopter, both cars were stopped and the suspects arrested.
Officers confiscated firearms and ammunition, gloves, cellphones and fake number plates.
"We are very disturbed by these offenders. This shows that we as a country seriously need to relook the punishment and parole conditions we administer.
"This says that the sentences imposed by our courts are not enough of a deterrent for these criminals to be stopped," said Sun.