Hunt on for Pretoria metro cop killers

2012-07-19 20:24

Johannesburg - A manhunt is underway for a group of men who shot dead a Tshwane metro police officer at the Wonderpark Shopping Complex on Thursday, said Tshwane metro police.

Sergeant Piet Von Bekkum, 51, died when he was shot at point-blank range after a robbery at the NWJ jewellery shop, said metro police spokesperson Lekgantshi Tleane.

"Von Bekkum was outside the entrance [of the complex] on his police bike," he said.

"He was probably unaware that a robbery was underway when he was confronted by one of the robbers, who shot him in the chest. He was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time."

The robbers took off with an undisclosed amount of money stolen from the shop, and Von Bekkum's service pistol.

They fled in a black bakkie which had been waiting at the entrance. It was followed by a white bakkie.

The black bakkie was later found abandoned near the shopping complex.

It had since been confirmed that the vehicle was stolen in Hillbrow on Wednesday night.

It was believed that between five and seven men committed the robbery.

Tshwane metro police extended its condolences to Von Bekkum's family.

"The cold-blooded murder of a [metro] police officer has robbed the community [of] a dedicated servant," it said.

- SAPA

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