Armed heist gang hit CBD in Greytown

2008-12-21 00:00

A Greytown shopkeeper said he was hugely relieved that his usually busy bookshop was almost deserted on Saturday morning when a gang of heavily-armed robbers fired shots into his store as they pursued a cash guard who was trying to escape from them.

A passer-by also had a lucky escape when he was grazed by a stray bullet in the shoot-out. He was treated in hospital and discharged.

Speaking to The Witness after a cash heist in the Greytown CBD, the owner of Greytown Book Shop and Stationery in Pine Street said he dived for cover behind his counter and called the police to assist. He asked not to be named.

Police said that two guards employed by Night Security were on a routine collection in the CBD and had parked their vehicle and were walking towards the Standard Bank to deposit their collection, when they were confronted by eight men split into two groups of four, armed with AK 47 rifles, Uzi sub-machine guns and 9 mm handguns.

“One group of robbers snatched one of the money bags from one of the security guards [at gunpoint] and disarmed him,” said police spokeswoman Joey Jeevan.

During this time the other guard, who was also carrying a money bag, fled towards the book shop. The other group of robbers followed him and fired several shots at him, and grabbed the money bag, containing an undisclosed amount of cash.

The shop owner said Pine Street was very busy at the time of the heist. “There was a bit of panic, but everyone went back to their business shortly afterwards.”

Two bullets struck shelves inside his shop, he said.

Jeevan said police believe the men fled in two waiting getaway vehicles, a red Nissan Sentra with an unknown NJ registration number and a red Toyota Conquest with an unknown registration number. She said the robbers also managed to take the guards’ 9 mm service pistols.

“During the shoot-out a passer-by identified as Somaru Sewbalak (46) was struck by a stray bullet — he sustained a graze wound to the back and was treated and discharged,” said Jeevan.

Police are appealing to anyone with information to contact Detective Captain Bobby Naicker of the Greytown serious and violent crimes unit on 033 413 9034 or 082 469 9189, or Crime Stop on the toll free number 08600 10111.

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