- A crime intelligence led operation has foiled a cash-in-transit heist, fatally wounding four suspects and led to the recovery of two rifles and a pistol in Soweto.
- Police were acting on information they had received about the planned attack on a cash van at a filling station in Bram Fischerville, Soweto.
- A manhunt has been launched for other suspects who fled the scene.
A cash-in-transit heist has been foiled thanks to a crime intelligence operation that left four suspects fatally wounded and firearms recovered.
The deceased were part of a group of armed robbers who were allegedly on the way to commit a cash-in-transit heist robbery on Thursday, in Soweto.
A manhunt has been launched for other suspects who fled the scene.
Police were acting on information they had received about the planned attack on a cash van.
Police spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe said police foiled the robbery at a filling station in Bram Fischerville, Soweto.
"At about 14:30, an intelligence-driven multi-disciplinary team led by members from crime intelligence and the National Intervention Unit (NIU) responded to intelligence of a planned attack on a cash van.
"The team noticed two suspicious looking vehicles following the CIT vehicle into the filling station where security officials were to perform their daily duties of collecting monies from the ATMs situated at the said filling station.
"Upon noticing the [police] members, the two vehicles carrying armed robbers made an about turn resulting in a high-speed chase. Hot on their heels, the team followed the vehicles to an identified address in the area where a shootout ensued. Four suspects were shot dead while other suspects fled the scene," Mathe said.
National police commissioner General Khehla Sitole hailed the vigilance of the joint team.
"The vigilance of this team ought to be commended for executing our mandate as the SAPS without fear or favour. This incident should send a stern warning to all involved in all forms of criminality, especially violent crime, to steer clear of crime. We are hoping to apprehend the remaining suspects who managed to flee the scene with the implementation of the 72-hour activation plan to mobilise all resources," Sitole said.
Mathe said they have not ruled out that the suspects could be linked to violent crimes and a recent spate of cash-in-transit heists in and around Gauteng.
Police appealed to residents, who may have seen or know the whereabouts of the others suspects, to come forward.