Cash guard killed in N3 heist

2008-05-07 00:00

The second cash-in-transit heist in less than 48 hours hit the midlands yesterday, and this time an armed gang fatally shot a Fidelity guard before stealing a cash container at the BP filling station on the northbound side of the N3 highway at Cato Ridge.

The attack at about 11.30 am followed one in Mid Illovo on Tuesday, where two gang members were arrested after a car chase and shoot-out with police and a private security company.

Yesterday’s heist frightened motorists, including tourists, at the BP Ridge Oasis garage.

People present during the attack said they heard about 10 gunshots. They said everything happened within the space of a few minutes before the criminals fled, leaving behind a badly injured security guard.

Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram said that Fidelity had arrived to collect cash and as the guard emerged from the building carrying the money container he was suddenly fired upon by an unknown number of armed men.

The guard died later after being rushed to hospital.

"I was busy attending to motorists when I suddenly heard gunshots," said a petrol attendant. "I saw the men shooting the guard at close range. They carried on shooting him while he was running towards his [cash-in-transit] vehicle.

"People who were outside the building ran all over for cover, and hid behind one of the cars. I don’t know whether they took the money because when I came out from hiding, they had disappeared," said the man.

Police officers at the scene said they collected six spent AK47 and 13 9 mm pistol cartridges.

A person who works in the restaurant building said: "I only heard gunshots. Since we have worked here, we only hear gunshots. There have been about four attacks over the past years."

When The Witness arrived at the scene after the incident, the presence of police and the bloodstains on the parking area was evidence of the fatal heist.

People working at the garage said they did not see the gang’s vehicle as there were a number of vehicles in the parking area at the time.

Budhram said the criminals fled in a white vehicle. He said no arrests have been made. Owner of the garage Thulani Mkhize declined to comment.

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