Police praised for quick arrests

2009-04-30 00:00

Durban police have been praised for the speedy arrests of two armed robbers who held up staff at a busy butchery in Warwick Avenue.

The suspects were part of a four-member gang who burst into the Trans-Natal Meat Market on Wednesday evening and held up staff. The gang escaped with five bags containing an undisclosed amount of cash.

Quick-thinking police and CCTV camera staff soon tracked them down to a local cemetery.

City cameras helped police follow three of the suspects to the Russell Street cemetery, where a shoot-out between the police and the gang ensued. One suspect was shot dead, while the other two were arrested.

Police recovered two pistols, an Uzi sub-machine gun and the money that was taken.

Trans-Natal Meat Market management have heaped praise on the police for their arrest of the suspects.

While many of the staff had to undergo trauma counselling, they are all grateful to be alive.

The manager, Andre, who asked that The Witness not use his surname, was helping staff cash up when the men burst into the store. One pointed a gun at him, while another suspect locked the shop owner and the security guard in a back room.

“They tried to shut the metal roller door, but couldn’t. So they just took what they could and escaped. We all thought they were going to kill us,” he said.

Andre said that he could not thank the police enough for their great work. “Money is something you can replace. We are just happy that nobody was killed. The cops have been great and we will always have respect for the difficult job they have,” he said.

He said the owner of the store suffered serious cuts and was taken to hospital.

Police spokesman Superintendent Jay Naicker said police want to send a clear message to criminals that the city centre is not their “playground”.

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