ATM withdrawals targeted

2009-07-02 00:00

ARMED robbers are targeting people who make large withdrawals at banks.

In Pietermaritzburg, at least two incidents with a similar modus operandi have been reported since the police warned of this trend three months ago.

Armed robbers yesterday tried to rob an Eskom employee in Mkondeni’s industrial area after he had drawn money from a bank at Hayfields shopping centre.

This was six days after a business woman in Mkondeni was robbed of staff wages after she had withdrawn money, also at Hayfields.

Enoch Zondi (45) is recovering in hospital after he was shot three times as he fought the gang of three robbers who ordered him to hand over the cash.

Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram said that while there is no evidence linking the two incidents, the modus operandi is the same.

Zondi and a colleague arrived at Afrox in a company vehicle to make payments.

“A Ford Aveo sedan stopped next to them. Three men jumped out and approached Zondi, who was still seated in the vehicle. One of the men produced a firearm and, at gunpoint, forced Zondi out of his vehicle. The suspects then ordered Zondi to hand over the cash which resulted in an altercation”.

The armed suspect fired three shots and injured Zondi in the leg.

Budhram said the robbers fled the scene without getting the money. Zondi’s colleague remained seated in the vehicle during the incident, and was unharmed.

Zondi was taken to hospital where he is believed to be recovering well.

Budhram said the getaway vehicle was later found abandoned in Emily Road in Pelham.

“Investigations established that the vehicle was stolen during the early hours of Saturday, June 27, in the Malvern area of Durban.”

Sheila Twycross was robbed by three well dressed men, who were driving a small silver car, after they allegedly followed her from Hayfields.

Police are appealing to anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of the suspects to contact Captain Belinda Walters of SAPS Alexandra Road at 033 845 7769 or 073 9947 523.

Anonymous callers should contact Crime Stop at 08600 10111.

In a media statement early this year, SAPS spokesman, Senior Superintendent Jay Naicker warned the public about the new trend of armed robberies. “Whilst we are investigating this trend and trying to identify possible suspects, we wish to urge members of the public to take certain precautions when making large withdrawals. The modus operandi employed by the perpetrators is to follow persons as they leave these financial institutions and rob them of their cash.”

He said people should be aware that (bank) employees or associates might possibly leak information about banking activities to criminals.


Try to vary your routine if possible when transporting cash. If you become a victim of robbery please remain calm and be observant as this could assist us in the investigation. The following should be kept in mind:

- don’t make it obvious that you are observing the suspects,

- focus on one person at a time,

- focus on the persons height, build, a firearm/weapon, clothing, special features (deformities, birthmarks etc.),

- note facial features,

- listen for names used by the robbers,

- remember areas they have touched, where they walked, cigarette butts discarded, bodily fluids discarded,

- take note of vehicles used (make, model, colour, noticeable features, registration. number, etc.).

Always ensure that you don’t do anything that could put your life or that of those around at risk.

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