MAP: 140 heists and counting - tracking the 'dangerous' surge in 2018 cash-in-transit robberies

2018-05-29 13:07
Cash-in-transit van with its safe doors blasted open during a heist. (Supplied)

Cash-in-transit van with its safe doors blasted open during a heist. (Supplied)

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Cash-in-transit robbers have become "greedy" and appear to be more dangerous, the Hawks have said about the current surge in robberies recorded.

"These are the people who don't care who they have to eliminate to get what they want," Hawks spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mulamu told News24.

Mulamu urged people to always consider their safety before taking that "few minutes of fame video".

"These people (criminals) might see them as an obstruction to get what they want. People should care and consider their safety, because these people are very dangerous."

Mulamu said they were working with all law enforcement agencies, including Crime Intelligence, to curb the current surge.

Since the dramatic Boksburg cash-in-transit heist two weeks ago, nine other incidents have been recorded.

WATCH: Bullets fly during cash-in-transit robbery in Boksburg

The latest cash-in-transit attacks have spiralled out of control, with a heist recorded at least once a day, on average.

At least 140 cash-in-transit robberies have taken place since January.

This, compared to 129 heists recorded in the same period last year.

Lure of easy cash

Author of the book Heist, Anneliese Burgess, says the lure of easy access to large amounts of cash is driving the surge in cash-in-transit heists.

In 2006, there were a total of 460 heists – the highest recorded.

Following the latest attack in Limpopo on Monday, seven suspects were nabbed, with two bullet-riddled stolen vehicles, rifle ammunition, cartridges, explosives and money bags being retrieved in Seshego.

Provincial Hawks Captain Matimba Maluleke on Tuesday said more arrests were imminent.

In that incident, a group of men held security officers at gunpoint and used unknown explosives to blast open a safe, before fleeing the scene with an undisclosed amount of money.

Two security officers were injured and were taken to hospital for further treatment.

Heat map of recent cash-in-transit heists across SA

In a separate incident on Monday, a private security officer was shot in the leg following another suspected cash-in-transit heist – this time in Heuweloord, Centurion.

Over the weekend, robbers hit a cash van on the R38, between Barberton and Badplaas, near Rustenburg in the North West, and again in Strand in the Western Cape.

In Barberton and Badplaas, robbers blew up the van and ordered the security guards to lie on the ground, before escaping with an undisclosed amount of money.

Few arrests

On the same day in Rustenburg, a gang of nine robbers used explosives to blow up a van, wounded a police officer who tried to intervene, and fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of money.

On Sunday, one person was killed and three others injured during a heist in front of the Cash & Carry store in Strand.

On May 17, in Boksburg on the East Rand, a gang blew up two G4S vans and made off with an undisclosed amount of money. Five men were later arrested, while the rest managed to escape.

Three days later, police launched a manhunt for several suspects following a cash-in-transit heist at Southdale Mall, just outside the Johannesburg CBD.

On May 21, a woman was shot in Soweto during a cash-in-transit heist at the Jabulani Mall. On the same day, in Polokwane, Limpopo, a group of more than 10 men pounced on a Fidelity van and made off with an undisclosed amount of money.
No arrests have been made in the Soweto, Southdale and Polokwane incidents.

Earlier, the Hawks did not rule out a potentially well-oiled syndicate, following an attempted robbery on a Fidelity van that had been travelling on the N3 south in Johannesburg on May 24.

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