Fast food hold-ups: eight held

2011-11-24 00:00

IN the past 48 hours Pietermaritzburg police have arrested eight suspected gang members in connection with a spate of robberies in the Mountain Rise area and the central business district.

The suspects are aged between 20 and 32.

They targeted fast-food outlets at service stations, supermarkets and restaurants.

The robberies were committed between Saturday and Monday.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Joey Jeevan said a man would enter the store under the pretence of being a customer preparing to buy goods.

When the unsuspecting cashier opened the cash register to process the sale the “customer” would hold up the cashier with a handgun, grab the money and flee.

One of the gang’s members met his match at Amigos Fish and Chips at the corner of Albert Luthuli Road and Burger Street.

Manager Judith Nel said the man had been standing in front of her shop for some time before he walked in, pointed a gun at her and demanded money.

Nel said she simply took the money out of the till, put it in a bag and handed it over.

As the man left the shop Nel summoned a security guard contracted to the shop.

“When the man saw the guard he pointed his gun at him. The guard shot him, but he survived. The police and the ambulance were quick to respond and I commend them for that,” she said.

Jeevan said, “During the last incident the police were alerted and with the assistance of the Pietermaritzburg K9 Unit one suspect was arrested at a block of flats in the city.

“Subsequent investigations led to the arrest of a further seven suspects in the CBD. Cash and a computer screen were recovered.”

Jeevan said the suspects — Keelan Simons (32), Dwayne Cole (26), Mario Alfredson (20), Hershal Smith (26), Suehuil Budram (24), Earl Rooi (30), Lee Marvin Banjo (20) and Clint Hammond (25) — appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

They were remanded in custody for seven days for further investigation.

• chris.ndaliso@witness.co.za

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