Armed robbery foiled

2008-07-02 00:00

An injured man is under police guard in hospital following a botched armed robbery in the city.

Three heavily armed men held employees at the West Street Supermarket at gunpoint and demanded cash.

A wounded suspect tried to hide in a cellar, but police dogs sniffed him out. Police waited for over an hour before an ambulance arrived to take him to hospital.

Police spokeswoman Inspector Joey Jeevan said detectives attached to the SAPS Pietermaritzburg Project Team had been informed about the robbery beforehand and were waiting to pounce on the robbers.

“They noticed one of the suspects leaving the shop. Police shouted for [him] to stop, but he turned around with the firearm in his hand, aiming at the police. An officer fired at the suspect, wounding him in the shoulder.”

The injured man ran towards Pietermaritz Street and jumped over the fence of a house. It is alleged that the other suspects heard the gunshot, immediately dropped the money bag and fled towards upper Church Street.

Police followed the wounded man and were joined by the Pietermaritzburg Dog Unit. “The suspect was found hiding in a cellar in West Street. He had a gunshot wound on his left arm.”

Jeevan said the identities of the other suspects are known and the search for them continues.

The owner of the shop refused to speak to The Witness, saying that when he was robbed before he got into “trouble” for comments in the press.

A 9 mm pistol was found in the yard where the wounded man was hiding. Jeevan said the gun was unlicensed and will be sent for ballistic investigation.

Police suspect he is part of a larger group believed to be responsible for some of the recent armed robberies in the CBD. Police are appealing to anyone with information to contact Detective Inspector Allistair Farrington on 033 8452735 or 082 040 4135.

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