14 Prasa workers allegedly attempted to rob Hatfield offices with toy gun, knife

2018-11-06 18:30
Brigadier Kushie Nair with firearms that were confiscated following a foiled robbery at Prasa's head officers in Pretoria. (Supplied)

Brigadier Kushie Nair with firearms that were confiscated following a foiled robbery at Prasa's head officers in Pretoria. (Supplied)

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A toy gun and a knife found outside the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa's (Prasa) headquarters in Pretoria may be linked to the 14 employees who allegedly attempted to rob officers in October.

According to police, 14 Prasa employees were arrested in the early hours of October 31 after an alert from security officers stationed at Prasa's head offices in Hatfield.

Brooklyn police spokesperson Captain Colette Weilbach said when police responded to the alert, the employees showed the police their Prasa employment cards and said that they were checking up on the security personnel. 

"According to them the security personnel are often not doing their work and have a tendency to sleep on duty. The police officers then left but [kept] on patrolling the surrounding areas," said Weilbach in a statement.

"Later on another phone call was received. This time from security officers from the University of Pretoria. They again notified the police that there are suspicious activities going on at the Prasa premises. Brooklyn SAPS (South African Police Service) called for back-up and responded for a second time."

Read: Police slam Prasa on rail safety

As police arrived at the offices for a second time, they found the same Prasa employees on the premises with firearms and the security personnel were tied up.

"The police immediately arrested 13 suspects, all employees of Prasa.

"The two firearms that were used by the gang were confiscated. Further investigation indicated that the gang apparently tried to steal Toyota Quantum buses that belong to Prasa."

Weilbach said that the 14th suspect, also employed at Prasa, was later arrested in the getaway vehicle parked at a nearby garage.

A toy gun that "looks like an Uzi" was found in the vehicle.

Also Read: Vandalism on trains is 'beyond our call of duty' - Prasa

On Monday, police found another toy gun and a knife hidden among the shrubs at the Prasa offices. It is being investigated whether the weapons are linked to the attempted robbery.

Brooklyn police station commander Brigadier Kushie Nair applauded the police officers for their swift response and vigilance that led to the suspects' arrest, said Weilbach.

Nair also thanked the security officers in the area for their alertness.

"This is proof that community involvement in reporting suspicious activities can assist the SAPS in the fight against crime," said Nair.

Read more on:    prasa  |  pretoria  |  crime

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