Police kill wanted suspect

2007-12-18 00:00

Police have shot and killed a suspect wanted for a brazen robbery at a jewellery store in the Pavilion shopping centre on the morning of November 15, and the subsequent shooting and wounding of an off-duty policeman, Inspector Andre Mostert.

Petrified shoppers fled for cover during the robbery and subsequent shootout.

Police spokeswoman Superintendent Danelia Veldhuizen told The Witness that police, acting on information, went to the Malvern area on Sunday night in search of the suspect.

On arrival at a home there, police cut the lock to gain entry and confronted a man inside the main bedroom. The suspect allegedly grabbed a firearm from a cupboard and pointed it at police, who opened fire, killing him.

The suspect was identified as 31-year-old Tupa Mbonambi.

Police recovered a 9 mm pistol at the scene. However, no jewellery was found.

Further suspects in the case are still at large.

Veldhuizen said Mostert — who was shot five times in the wake of the holdup at Arthur Kaplan Jewellers in the shopping centre — is out of hospital and recovering at home.

According to media reports, at the time the robber gang stole Rolex watches worth around R1,5 million and R46 000 in cash from the jewellers. The cash was recovered after being dropped by the fleeing gang.

It was reported that two men armed with heavy calibre firearms entered the jewellery store, while another armed with an AK-47 rifle stood guard outside.

As the robbers fled, Mostert (who happened to be in the vicinity with his wife) chased after them and shots were exchanged. The critically injured officer was flown to hospital by Netcare and later underwent surgery.

Police at the time said they believed that some of the suspects might also have been wounded as they found a trail of blood at the scene.

The getaway vehicle — a white VW Polo allegedly hijacked earlier on the Berea — was later found abandoned in Booth Road.

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