Elliot SAPS arrest eight suspects just hours after armed business robbery

FEBRUARY 8, 2016

The SAPS Eastern Cape Multi-Disciplinary Task Team, including the Dordrecht and Indwe VisPol, POPS and the Elliot K9 Unit, on Sunday night, at about 19:45, arrested eight suspects, aged between 24 and 44, just two hours after they allegedly robbed a local grocery store in Dordrecht

"It is alleged that, just before the shop’s closing time, six men entered  and robbed customers of their personal belongings and took an undisclosed amount of money and cigarettes," police spokesperson, Colonel Sibongile Soci said.

"The suspects also demanded the keys to a Corsa vehicle from one of the customers and fled. Two suspects escaped from the scene and one was apprehended by the public and handed over to the police."

Soci said that police believe that four other suspects were waiting outside the shop in a Quantum bus.

"The suspects then drove in both vehicles towards the direction of Indwe. Local police were immediately alerted and they gave chase.

"Upon realising that police were on their heels, the suspects abandoned the Corsa and jumped into the Quantum bus. Seven suspects were near Indwe and one suspect managed to escape," she said.

An undisclosed amount of money, ten cell phones, three firearms and ammunition, one toy gun, a laptop and laminate machine were recovered and the Quantum bus was also confiscated.

All the suspects will appear in the Dordrecht Magistrates Court on Tuesday on charges of business robbery and possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

"Two suspects are still at large and police are following up leads and arrests are imminent."

In another unrelated incident, three suspects, aged between 27 and 35, were arrested on Thursday, at about 03:00am, at their places of residence in Ugie after they were linked to a local grocery store robbery that occurred on 2 February, at about 19:20.

"It is alleged that the suspects pounced into the store just before closing time and demanded cash and took cigarettes. They fled the scene on foot and police have been following leads until they were arrested," Soci said.

"One suspect was found in possession of an unlicensed firearm, Z88 pistol with serial number filed off."

The suspects will appear in the Maclear Magistrate's Court court on Monday on charges of business robbery and unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lt General Celiwe Binta, commended the officers, who arrested the suspects in both incidents.

“Police in the Province are committed to fight crime and its manifestation with all the resources at their disposal. The arrests must send a strong message to criminals who think they will target small towns in our Province, that we will arrest them. The arrests are also meeting the SAPS’ organisational objections and the expectations of the communities we serve,” said Lt General Binta.  

She concluded by thanking the community for apprehending and handing the suspect to the police.