AK gang’s Hyper cash haul

2014-09-01 00:00

A gang of robbers armed with high-calibre rifles executed a daring daylight raid on an armoured car at Pick n Pay Hypermarket in Durban North yesterday.

As the retail outlet teemed with shoppers, the gang surrounded two security guards collecting boxes of cash after a busy month-end.

In seconds the guards were disarmed and stripped of nearly R400 000 in cash without a single shot being fired.

Their lightning getaway saw the heist-men ditching one of their cars on the M4 Ruth First Freeway nearby and escaping without a trace.

Several CCTV cameras which monitor the outside of the shopping centre captured the robbery, which played out while unsuspecting customers streamed into the store.

A well-placed police source confirmed that robbers looted R400 000 in the hit.

“After they had surrounded the guard and taken his gun away they loaded nine cash boxes into their car. There were multiple suspects and some were armed with AK47s.”

The source added that the midday blitz had been cleverly done.

“They target the cash-in-transit companies that do not have large teams — in this case all they had to do was overpower one guard because the driver will never leave his seat. From that point they were in control and met no other resistance,” he added.

A visibly shaken security guard declined to comment when approached by The Witness.

A getaway car was abandoned on the freeway a short distance from the shopping centre, seemingly in an effort to throw police off the trail.

Pick n Pay Hypermarket manager Leonard Araunun said that guards had been “surprised” despite heightened security during a peak period for the retail outlet.

“I am not authorised to comment on the specifics of this robbery but I can confirm that this morning there was a heist. We are just so happy that everyone is fine and that no one was injured,” he said.

“Our security is really tight, but these guys catch you by surprise and there is nothing that you can do.”

Araunun added there had been no danger posed to shoppers, with the bold raid taking place away from the main entrance.

The armoured car had been stopped near the staff entrance to the shopping centre.

Police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane said that detectives were investigating a case of armed robbery and that no arrests had been made.

• jeff.wicks@witness.co.za

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