Armed robbers busted simultaneously in Port Elizabeth and East London

SEPTEMBER 15, 2015

Eastern Cape Provincial Police Commissioner, Lt Gen Celiwe Binta, on Tuesday warned robbers that the police were ready to take them. This is after police arrested suspected armed robbers within minutes of two separate incidents in East London and Port Elizabeth.

About 12:00am today, security guards collecting cash from a store in the Ziyabuya Complex in Dwesi, Port Elizabeth, were accosted by two armed assailants.

According to police, one of the robbers fired a shot at the guard carrying the money boxes. The guard returned fired but the robbers managed to take the money boxes and his firearm during a physical scuffle. The suspects ran to a white Corsa bakkie, which was waiting for them, with two other male accomplices inside. The two robbers got inside and the vehicle sped away.

Police officers, who were on patrol in the area, were alerted to the robbery and immediately gave chase after the get-away vehicle.

The get-away vehicle was found abandoned at Besman Crescent, KwaMagxaki.

A quick search of the area led to the arrest of a 37-year-old suspect hiding in the neighbourhood, who had a bullet wound to his upper body. He was arrested and taken to hospital for medical attention.

A manhunt has since been launched for the remaining suspects.

"It is very unfortunate that a 40-year-old female customer was shot twice in the upper body during the shoot-out between the robbers and the security guard; she was taken to hospital and is reported to be in a critical but stable condition," the police said in the statement.

East London robbers arrested

In another incident, police in Mdantsane swiftly arrested two suspects for armed robbery in Nompumelelo, Beacon Bay, on Tuesday at about 11:00 after the robbery of a tobacco van in NU-15, Mdantsane this morning.

It is alleged that the suspects took thirteen tobacco boxes and fled in a hired getaway vehicle.

They were seen by alert police officers on patrol and a chase ensued. The suspects were stopped and arrested whilst training to unload their loot at a shack in Nompumelelo.

The boxes, containing tobacco to the value of more than R220 000, were recovered. The suspects, aged between 25 and 40, are due to appear soon in the Mdantsane Magistrate’s Court on charges of armed robbery.

“Well done to the members who were alert and ready to respond - criminals must know that we are tactical and pro-active in our response to crime," Lt General Binta said.

“We will not let up and will continue to hunt for the suspects. 

"We ask for any person with information to come forward and assist the police in putting these criminals behind bars.  We have foiled robberies in Mthatha, East London and Port Elizabeth last week and we will continue to be alert and ready to act against those who have no respect for law and order.”