Two arrested after cash van heist, shootout and theft of police van

(File, Canny Maphanga/News24)
(File, Canny Maphanga/News24)

"Brazen" cash-in-transit (CIT) heist suspects in the Western Cape stole a police vehicle when they were cornered by officers during a shootout, then crashed the van, leading to two arrests.

The national police commissioner's office confirmed that two suspects allegedly involved in the CIT heist in Klapmuts were nabbed by police on Monday evening.

Spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo, said the incident took place at 18:00 where a CIT vehicle was "ambushed and robbed by a group of armed men at Klapmuts". 

"The suspects stole an undisclosed amount of cash and fled on the R44 but as they reached Cloetesville [near Stellenbosch] they were cornered by members of the SAPS who were responding to this robbery," said Naidoo. 

"A shootout ensued but the brazen suspects abandoned their vehicle in front of Cloetesville police station and jumped into a police van and sped off."

Naidoo said during a "hot pursuit", the suspects lost control of the police vehicle and crashed. They abandoned the damaged police vehicle and fled on foot in different directions. 

Police tracked down two suspects, aged 37 and 43, who are in custody. A search for the other suspects is continuing. 

National Police Commissioner, General Khehla Sitole directed Western Cape provincial commissioner, Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula, to implement the 72 hour activation plan to apprehend the remaining suspects.

Police also recovered two assault rifles, a revolver and a bag with money. Two police vans were damaged but police officers escaped unscathed and no other injuries have been reported at this stage.

The getaway vehicle, a Toyota Fortuner was earlier hijacked.

Sitole praised his colleagues for the arrests.

"The commitment displayed by our members tonight is a reflection of the commitment of the South African Police Service as a whole to ensure that people cannot commit heinous crimes and expect to get away with it," said Sitole.

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