Robbery suspect dies in gun battle

2016-09-22 06:00
Reaction Unit officer arresting one of the three suspects after they robbed a garage in Verulam. Photo: supplied

Reaction Unit officer arresting one of the three suspects after they robbed a garage in Verulam. Photo: supplied

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AROBBER who shot and wounded a member of Reaction Unit SA (Rusa) on Monday during a gun battle in Verulam CBD with the officers was found dead in a nearby bush.

The suspect with two accomplices entered a petrol station on Todd Street in Verulam and held staff at gunpoint demanding cash.

The Rusa officers came under fire after they responded to the report of a robbery in progress in the Verulam CBD on Monday morning.

Head of Rusa Prem Balram said that there was an exchange of fire between Rusa officers and the three suspects.

One officer was shot and wounded and the two suspects were arrested shortly afterwards. However, the injured suspect fled on foot.

Balram said that they received information from Verulam police who stated that the girlfriend of the shot suspect reported him missing after he called her and informed her that he was wounded.

“We were informed that the girlfriend told the police that her boyfriend did not come home on the day of the shooting. She told police her boyfriend said that he was shot by Rusa officers in Verulam.

“He also told her that he was hiding in a bush. We then went to the bush near the garage where the robbery took place. The area was cordoned off and we then searched the dense bush. We found the body of the suspect lying near the river. He was dead,” said Balram.

Spokesperson for Verulam SAPS Captain Mark Prakasim said, “The two suspects are linked to other cases of business robberies that occurred in Trenance Park and Dawncrest. They face charges of business robbery. The suspects took an undisclosed amount of cash, airtime and cigarettes.

“We would like to thank Rusa officers for their swift response in arresting the suspect,” he said.

The two suspects are due to appear at the Verulam Magistrate’s court this week.

In a separate incident, Tongaat police are investigating a case of business robbery after a group of gun-wielding men intruded into a clothing shop in the Tongaat CBD on 19 September and held the staff at gunpoint demanding cash.

Warrant Officer Ricky Moodley from Tongaat SAPS said: “A group of armed men entered a store and demanded cash. They walked away with undisclosed amount of cash and cellphones. Police are investigating a case of business robbery and there are no arrests at this stage. The suspects are still at large,” he said.

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