Umkomaas hold-up cash recovered

2011-03-23 00:00

AT least four armed men robbed security officers of Group 4 Securicor and a cash-in-transit company of an undisclosed amount while they were reloading cash in the ATM at a well-known chain store in Roseneath, Umkomaas, last week.

It is alleged that on Thursday, the cash-in-transit vehicle was parked in front of the store while two of the armed security officials went in to reload the ATM cash canisters with bank­notes.

The driver remained seated in the vehicle when four unknown men who were already in the store approached the security officials from different directions and held them at gunpoint.

They took three of the canisters containing a substantial sum of money, the guns of both security officers and a portable two-way radio. They fled in a gold Toyota Tazz.

Members of the Port Shepstone Highway Patrol, Umkomaas Police Station, Umkomaas K9 Unit and the neighbouring stations immediately responded and a massive hunt for the suspects ensued.

The Toyota Tazz was found abandoned at Ajmar Road, not far from the chain store, and it was evident that the suspects had made their getaway in another vehicle.

All the routes leading to Umkomaas were searched.

Captain Gary Cousins of the Umkomaas K9 Unit was driving north on the N2 freeway towards Durban when he noticed a blue VW Jetta with four occupants.

However, other than a missing rear number plate, nothing seemed to be amiss and the occupants appeared to be relaxed. He passed the vehicle and proceeded to search the side roads before getting back on to the freeway.

He saw the blue Jetta again and became suspicious that it might have been the vehicle he was looking for.

The Jetta left the freeway near Illovo and cruised along the side roads. Cousins then heard from a colleague that a blue Jetta had been seen leaving the vicinity of the crime scene at high speed.

As the vehicle passed some bushes, one of the occupants alighted and ran into the bushes clutching a bag in front of him. Cousins stopped and gave chase. The man dropped the bag and fled.

Cousins recovered the bag and found that it contained the ATM canisters. He continued to look for the Jetta and found it abandoned in a cul-de-sac. He called for back-up, but a search for the suspects proved fruitless. The Tazz and the Jetta were impounded.

A case of armed robbery is being investigated by the Durban organised crime unit.

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