A police officer has been wounded as well as a suspect during a shootout following a business robbery in Addo yesterday, January 17.
The drama unfolded at just before noon when SAPS Addo members responded to a complaint of a robbery in progress at a store in the Main Street. When the members arrived, they were confronted by four men fleeing the store with three bags loaded with stolen goods. The men split up and ran in opposite directions.
Police spokesperson, Col. Priscilla Naidu, said that the members ran after one pair of suspects that fled towards the railway station into dense bushes. "A shootout ensued between police and the suspects. A police constable was shot in his buttocks, arm and left knee. A 21-year-old suspect was also wounded in his knee and apprehended. A 9mm Norinco pistol (serial number filed off) was recovered," Naidu said.
She explained that with the assistance of the Kariega K9 Unit and private security, the bush was secured. K9, Pierke, was sent into the thick bushes and apprehended a 33-year-old suspect. A third suspect (31), alleged to be the driver of the getaway vehicle, was also apprehended.
All the stolen property, mainly cell phones and cash that were in the bags, have been recovered. The white Toyota Avanza was also confiscated.
The younger suspect is detained on charges of business robbery, attempted murder and the possession of a prohibited firearm. The other two on a charge of business robbery.
They are expected to appear in the Kirkwood Magistrate's Court soon.
Eastern Cape Provincial Police Commissioner, Lt. Gen. Nomthetheleli Mene, expressed her appreciation to all the officers involved and added that the members had placed their lives in danger to ensure that criminals are apprehended and property recovered.
"We will not be threatened by criminals who want to deter us from executing our mandate of serving and protecting our fellow citizens. I wish a speedy recovery to our injured police officer. We will continue to serve our communities with commitment, care and effectiveness. We have intensified our search for the outstanding suspects and appeal to whomever may have information about their whereabouts, to immediately contact the nearest police station. Callers have a choice to remain anonymous," Mene said.
Source: SAPS media statement