Three robbers dead after shoot-out with cops

2015-06-09 12:41
A shoe belonging to one of the robbers who was apprehended after a shoot-out at a Cape Town shop. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

A shoe belonging to one of the robbers who was apprehended after a shoot-out at a Cape Town shop. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - A homeowner and her neighbour discussing a shoot-out between robbers and the police less than 100 metres from her home had no idea that one of the armed suspects was hiding from the police in her garden.

The man was one of a gang of robbers who hit the Primrose Markette in Surrey Estate, Athlone, at about 21:00 on Monday night.

Three of the suspects died after a shoot-out with the police, while a policeman as well as a woman, believed to be a customer, were hit during the skirmish.

Provincial police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said two of the suspects died at the scene in Orion Road.

“One suspect succumbed in hospital. Two firearms, a R5 assault rifle and a 9mm Beretta were seized on the scene, as well as two hijacked vehicles.

“Three or even more suspects managed to flee the scene and are yet to be arrested.” 

Stolen vehicle

According to a police source, the officers had been following the vehicle the robbers used, which was "under surveillance after being reported stolen".

That is why the police were hot on the heels of the gang when they hit the store.

On Tuesday morning, a bloody shoe still lying on a corner of Jupiter Street, told part of the story of where one of the fleeing gunmen was apprehended.

Witnesses told News24 the shoe belonged to one of the robbers.

“They shot the guy in the foot and when they took off his shoe, his toe literally fell off,” a bystander described.

The toe has not yet been located, the police source confirmed.

Hiding

Two of the suspects fled and tried to hide on a property further down the street, a family member of the homeowner told News24.

“We only later realised they had been here when we saw someone had kicked in - actually smashed - the side gate,” he said, pointing at a pile of wooden planks.

His sister and a neighbour had been discussing the commotion which had taken place at the local superette, unaware that one of the armed men was lying mere metres from where she was standing on her balcony.

“Only when the police came and searched the surrounding properties did they find the big guy under the trees,” he said.

Police tape fluttered outside the family’s neat home and cable ties, used to restrain the suspect, were still lying in the garden.

“The creepiest thing was when forensics was combing our garden and they turned the suspect to take photos of the scene. This guy actually smiled at the camera,” the witness said, incredulous.

'Completely traumatised'

Primrose Markette owner Siraj Parker was surrounded by customers as word of the incident spread.

His wife, who had been at the store at the time of the robbery, was “completely traumatised” by the incident, Parker told News24.

This is the third time in as many years that his store has been hit.

“But I am just relieved that my staff and my wife are okay. No amount of money is worth someone’s death,” he said.

Parker opened his store at the corner of Orion and Ruimte Roads 25 years ago and insists he has no intention of moving.

“The sad reality is that you can be hit anywhere. You aren’t even safe in a shopping mall,” he pointed out.

“I am part of this community. My customers are more than just people who buy from me. I will stay here, where I have always been.”

Van Wyk said the circumstances surrounding the incident are being investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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