Police swiftly arrest five suspects after Bethelsdorp armed business robbery


Quick thinking and swift action by members of the Port Elizabeth Tactical Response Team (TRT) assigned to Operation Lockdown, in the Northern Areas, resulted in the arrest of five suspects, aged between 22 and 27 years old, within minutes after a robbery taken place at a local store in Marrock Road, Betheldorp, on Wednesday at about 20:00.

According to the police, the suspects allegedly pointed the owner with firearm outside his shop and escorted him inside where they took cash, cell phones and cigarettes, and then sped off in silver Ford Fiesta.

The owner reported the incident and information was immediately disseminated from the Operational Command Centre of Operation Lockdown to the TRT members deployed in the Bethelsdorp area.

“The members positioned themselves at possible entrance routes into the Kwazakele area. Within minutes of the robbery, the vehicle was spotted in Booi Street in Zwide. And the police succeeded in blocking the vehicle and, as the suspects alighted, one of them pointed a firearm at police,” said police spokesperson, Colonel Priscilla Naidu.

She added that the suspect was shot in thigh before they were all arrested. Police recovered two firearms and 22 rounds of ammunition and the stolen property from the suspects.

The suspects were detained on charges of business robbery, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition and possession of suspected stolen property.

Mount Road Cluster Commander, Brigadier Ernie Neveling, commended all those involved in the arrest of the suspects.

She said “Good co-ordination, speedy and accurate radio communication and proactive deployment of SAPS members led to the swift arrests.”

The suspects will appear in court soon.