Armed gangs strike in Bloemfontein, attempt to bomb safe

2018-07-05 16:50
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Police have launched a manhunt following two separate robberies at a municipality office and a Shell garage in Bloemfontein.

Colonel Thandi Mbambo said the two incidents occurred around 01:00 on Thursday morning. The robbers fled with undisclosed amounts of cash.

She said four men, wearing balaclavas, pounced on security guards at a municipality building near the home affairs offices and held them hostage. 

The men used wire to tie up the guards, and locked them in the bathrooms.

They then broke into the finance office and forced open the safe, before making off with an undisclosed amount of cash. 

Mbambo added that, around the same time as the robbery was underway at the municipality, six other armed men in a green Toyota Corolla robbed a Shell garage.

She said they forced the petrol attendants, as well as delivery van driver who was at the garage, into the shop. They then tried to bomb the drop safe.

After the bomb failed to open the safe, the men took petty cash and boxes of cigarettes, before fleeing with the delivery van. 

The van was later found abandoned near a car wash in Bloemanda.

Mbambo said cases of robbery have been opened for both incidents and that investigations were continuing. 

Acting provincial police commissioner Major General Jones Qhobosheane urged the public to assist with information that could help lead to the arrest of the men involved.

He said a provincial task team, compromised of detectives, crime intelligence and tracing units would investigate the cases.

"Through multi-disciplinary approach between the police, business people and the community, we will be able to minimise these recurring incidents. We are hoping for a positive outcome soon," Qhobosheane said.

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