Five people have been arrested in connection with a cash-in-transit heist which happened in Boksburg‚ Ekurhuleni on Thursday.
The five were caught at the George Goch hostel in Johannesburg after police chased them with a helicopter.
Police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo told TimesLIVE at the scene on Atlas Road that the police’s speedy response to the heist resulted in the quick arrest.
“We also recovered a rifle after the cash-in-transit heist which happened at about 9.30am. It is alleged that more than 10 suspects who were driving in four vehicles approached two G4S security vans‚” said Masondo.
“They started shooting at the vans. Then there was a shoot-out between the security officers and the suspects. The suspects managed to blow up the cash vans and take some cash.
“We then got information and reacted. We managed to chase the suspects until at the George Goch hostel. It is at George Goch hostel where we managed to arrest these five suspects and recover a car that we suspect was used during the robbery. We also recovered the rifle.
“As I’m talking to you‚ the operation is still underway because we believe that some of the suspects are still hiding at George Goch hostel and we hope that we will manage to arrest all of them.”
Two security guards were injured. One was shot in the leg and the other had minor injuries to the head during the shoot-out. The two injured guards were taken to hospital.
Traffic congestion around Boksburg began to pile up as police took hours dealing with evidence in the messy crime scene.
Bullets could still be seen on the ground when TimesLIVE arrived. There was a construction truck in the middle of the scene. It is unclear at this stage what happened to driver.
The bomb squad unit was called to the scene and police had to work for hours picking up the leftover cash which was blown up by the wind.
Masondo admitted that cash-in-transit heists were becoming a serious problem in Gauteng.
“It is a worry for us as the police with the number of cash-in-transit heist that we are encountering these days. But we’ve got measures in place [to deal with them]. Now that we have arrested these ones‚ it is a breakthrough and we believe that it [crime] will come down‚” Masondo said.