POLOKWANE – Five armed suspects aged between 30 and 43, were arrested yesterday, 04 February 2020, along the R101 in the Pinaarsrivier Policing area outside Bela-Bela. The suspects were arrested during a sting joint operation comprised of members of the South African Police Service from Bela-Bela, Pienaarsrivier, Modimolle Public Order Police (POP) Unit, the Lephalale Community Police Forum members and the Tracker company.
This major breakthrough follows a business robbery that took place earlier on this day in one of the retail stores in the Lephalale town.
The police were notified, reacted swiftly and the manhunt ensued supported by a private helicopter until a minibus matching the same description of the alleged getaway vehicle was spotted passing Bela-Bela town towards Pretoria. It was followed, stopped, pulled off the road and searched. In the process, Police found large amount of different cell phones believed to be the once robbed in Lephalale. The occupants were all arrested.
The following items were recovered:
* The minibus.
* Two 9mm pistols with 27 live rounds and two magazines.
* Cellphones to the estimated value of R100 000.00.
The suspects will appear before the Bela-Bela Magistrate’s Court soon on possession of firearms and ammunition without license and possession of suspected stolen properties. They will later appear before the Lephalale Magistrate’s Court on a charge of business robbery.
Meanwhile, still in the Lephalale Cluster, another joint operation comprised of the SAPS K9 Unit and the Lephalale Community Police Forum members have in the early hours of Monday, 03 February 2020, followed another TRIO crime syndicate and arrested two (02) suspects both aged 31, few kilometres away from the crime scene. The arrest was made soon after a bussines robbery incident that was committed at one of shops at Phahladira Section in the Ga-Shongwane area outside Lephalale.
During the arrest, the suspects did not cooperate and started shooting at the Police who retaliated until one of the suspects was shot and injured. Subsequently, both of them were apprehended.
The injured suspect is still recuperating in one of the hospitals under Police guard. Both suspects will appear before the Phalala Magistrate Court soon on charges of business robbery, attempted murder and possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
During this arrest, the following items were recovered: One firearm, eight (08) rounds of ammunition and cash amount of money believed to be the one that was robbed during this incident.
The arrested suspects on both incidents may be connected to other cases in the Lephalale Cluster and across the Province.
The police investigations on both incidents are still continuing.