Police hunt for armed robbers

2018-05-29 06:01

Police are requesting the public’s help in tracing the suspected armed robbers of a British American Tobacco South Africa (BAT) company vehicle.

Three armed men pounced on the company’s vehicle on the corner of 6th Avenue and 12th Street at about 09:45 on Monday 21 May.

“The two occupants of the BAT vehicle had just finished delivery at a local shop when two men armed with firearms emerged from both sides of the vehicle and ordered them to get out of the car,” says police spokesperson, Sergeant Angeline Grill.

As they were getting out of the car, the company employees noticed that a third suspect was standing behind the vehicle. A fourth suspect remained in the getaway car, a white Toyota Avanza.

The suspects fled with four boxes of cigarettes with an estimated value of R30 000. Police say no money was taken from the vehicle. They are investigating a case of armed robbery and have not yet arrested any suspects.

The police are calling on the public for information on the incident, including the getaway vehicle’s registration number. Grill says anyone giving information may remain anonymous.

BAT external affairs head, Joe Heshu, confirmed the incident. “Both employees will receive trauma counselling from expert counsellors following the attack. At BAT we take violent attacks on our employees very seriously and are constantly working hard to mitigate the risk of hijacking and robbery for our employees.”

Heshu, however, would not be drawn into giving details of measures the company takes to prevent such robberies. “We are not able to provide further details on security measures implemented to reduce hijackings because having this information in the public domain is likely to put our employees at further risk,” says Heshu.

Meanwhile, Grill says police are also investigating a business robbery following an attack on a funeral undertaker business in Voortrekker Road on Friday 18 May. The incident took place at about 22:00, Grill says.

“The victim opened the garage door remotely from the inside as he heard a vehicle hooting from the outside, thinking it was a co-worker. As the door was opening two men ran in and threatened two employees with a pistol, tied them up and placed plastic bags over their heads and demanded the safe,” she says.

When the suspects could not open the safe they made off with computer hard drives, five cellphones, two tablets and two computer boxes. Grill says there is no video footage available as the camera was taken. The victims escaped unharmed and no gunshots were fired.

V Call Warrant Officer Donovan de Vries at the detectives’ branch on 021 594 7029 or Crime Stop on 0800 10111 with any information.

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