Police teamwork culminates in eight arrests

2014-01-23 00:00

ALERT, fast-acting police have arrested eight people in connection with two robberies in Pietermaritzburg this week.

In the first incident, police arrested five men for hijacking a businessperson in the CBD on Monday.

The 72-year-old was allegedly attacked and hijacked outside his business while on his way to deposit his business’s takings.

Police spokesperson Thulani Zwane said the man, driving a grey Toyota Avanza, had stopped outside his business to join Boom Street traffic when he was confronted by two men, one carrying a gun.

Zwane said the gunman opened the man’s door and struck him with the butt of the firearm. The attackers then forced him out of the car, kicked him, climbed into the vehicle and sped off, taking a large amount of cash and cheques.

Alerted to the hijacked car’s details, members of the Pietermaritzburg Crime Prevention Unit soon spotted it and gave chase. They stopped the car at a taxi rank on Hoosen Haffejee Street with the assistance of the Pietermaritzburg Tactical Response Unit. Police arrested the alleged hijackers and recovered the car, one cheque and a small amount of cash.

Further information led police to three other suspects, who were also arrested.

“A white BMW, believed to have been used as a getaway vehicle, was also recovered. A large amount of cash and various cheques have still not been recovered.”

Yesterday, members of the Pietermaritzburg K9 unit, the Tactical Response Team (TRT), Flying Squad, Accident Combating Unit and Diving Unit combined to arrest three other alleged robbers.

Zwane said Mike Ndlovu (31) was walking along Ohrtmann Road in the Mountain Rise area when he was confronted by four men armed with knives. The men threatened him and demanded his personal belongings.

He handed over his cellphones and cash.

The men fled, crossed the freeway and were spotted by a passing Pietermaritzburg Accident Unit officer, who radioed other units and gave chase.

Zwane said the men fled into bushes along East Street. But their bid for freedom was short-lived. The K9 unit caught one of the men at a nearby river.

Officers were then led to an abandoned house along Boom Street, where they arrested two other men in connection with the robbery. Ndlovu’s two cellphones were found on the suspects, but the knives and cash were not recovered.

The men, aged between 23 and 27, will appear in court shortly on charges of robbery. Police believe they may be linked to other robberies in and around the city.

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