Two suspects die in shootout

2014-11-08 00:00

TWO wanted suspects were gunned down in a shootout with police in Camperdown on Thursday night.

Pietermaritzburg police and the Flying Squad were conducting a joint operation when they spotted a suspicious-looking vehicle driving along the N3.

Police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said the police tried to stop the VW Polo but it sped off and they gave chase. Zwane said the occupants of the Polo started shooting towards the police and they retaliated in self-defence, killing two suspects. The other two suspects in the car fled the scene on foot.

He said two unlicensed firearms, laptops and cellphones were recovered, and are suspected to have been stolen during a business robbery that was reported from Dundee this month.

It is believed the vehicle was stolen in Durban’s Berea area.

Zwane said charges of double murder and attempted murder were opened for investigation by Hammarsdale SAPS.

The other two suspects are still being sought by police.

Governance crime and justice divisions senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, Johan Burger, warned of more robberies during the festive season.

Burger said, although the police’s festive season operations make a huge difference in ensuring that criminals are brought to book, they do not deter criminals.

“Organised criminal groups are heavily armed, well-organised, always on the look and are intelligent. They target specific shops such as jewellery, laptops and cellphones shops because there are easy to carry,” he said.

Burger said criminals don’t intend to kill anyone because they don’t want to attract attention. But he warned people to be vigilant and rather carry cards than cash.

“They know there is a lot of money during this period. It is always advisable that people use electronic banking and cards, and also be vigilant when using ATMs.”

Zwane referred further queries to the Independent Police Investigation Directorate but its spokesperson Muzi Dlamini could not be drawn to comment.

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