Police swoop on suspects as they flee from Durban supermarket robbery
Swift police action led to the arrests of five suspects, aged between 17 and 24, shortly after a business robbery in Phoenix, north of Durban, on Thursday.
KwaZulu-Natal police on Saturday said the men allegedly robbed a supermarket in Chartford Road on Thursday afternoon.
"At gunpoint, the suspects demanded cash and cigarettes from employees. They robbed employees of an undisclosed amount of cash, cell phones, cigarettes, airtime vouchers as well as an airtime machine. One of the employees was assaulted by the suspects with the butt of a firearm. Following the robbery, the suspects fled the scene in their getaway vehicle," police spokesman Brig Jay Naicker said.
Phoenix police officers immediately responded when they received a report about the robbery and an operation was conducted.
"Other law enforcement agencies joined in the operation and the getaway vehicle was spotted travelling towards Inanda.
"The vehicle was intercepted and five suspects were placed under arrest. Police seized two toy guns, gloves, an Okapi knife as well as the stolen property that were found in the possession of the suspects," Naicker said.
Investigations revealed that the vehicle used by the suspects was stolen at Inanda earlier this month.
"The arrested suspects are due to appear in the Verulam magistrate's court on Monday facing charges of robbery and possession of suspected stolen property," Naicker said.
KwaZulu-Natal provincial commissioner Lt-Gen Khombinkosi Jula commended the police officers.
"Our reaction times to these crimes is very important and we appreciate the fact that most victims of crime contact police immediately which enables us to close off escape routes swiftly. We need to send a clear message to criminals that citizens will not take these crimes lying down and are working with police to bring them down," he said.