Day­light robbery

Guards shot at, vans bombed

Sowetan - - Front Page - / ER24

Robbers bombed G4S vans and shot at the guards dur­ing a cash-in-tran­sit heist on At­las Road in Boks­burg, East Rand, yes­ter­day. In the chase that en­sued, lead­ing to the clo­sure of the M2 high­way, po­lice raided the Ge­orge Goch Hos­tel, in Joburg, and nabbed sev­eral sus­pects be­lieved to have been part of the gang.

First it was the bul­let car­tridges lit­ter­ing the road.

Then con­cerns about the pos­si­bil­ity of un­det­o­nated ex­plo­sives forced po­lice to ex­pand the size of the crime scene where a dra­matic cashin-tran­sit heist took place in Boks­burg, Ekurhu­leni, yes­ter­day.

The smoke from the ex­plo­sions that ripped apart the G4S cash vans had dis­si­pated‚ the in­dis­crim­i­nate gun­shots had ceased, and a movie-like scene greeted cu­ri­ous by­standers in At­las Road.

Be­hind the sec­ond dam­aged cash van was an aban­doned con­struc­tion truck which had some­how ended up in the cross­fire as guards ex­changed gun­fire with the robbers.

The cash vans were tar­geted at 9.30am by sev­eral gun­men trav­el­ling in an SUV and other ve­hi­cles and wield­ing assault ri­fles. About 10 sus­pects ex­changed fire with the G4S guards‚ and two of the four guards were in­jured‚ while some mo­torists recorded the shootout on video.

Po­lice chased the sus­pects‚ who ap­peared to have pulled off the heist with mil­i­tary pre­ci­sion‚ us­ing a he­li­copter to pur­sue them. Some of the gang were cor­nered and cap­tured at Ge­orge Goch Hos­tel in Jo­han­nes­burg.

At the scene ban­knotes flew about in the wind prompt­ing foren­sic in­ves­ti­ga­tors to col­lect the scat­ter­ing cash.

Some young men man­aged to sneak onto the crime scene but po­lice im­me­di­ately stopped and searched them and re­cov­ered some cash.

The bomb squad poured over the scene. As the drama con­tin­ued‚ one of the G4S guards sat on the ground look­ing to­tally dis­ori­ented. Of­fi­cials from his com­pany kept speak­ing to him, but the trau­ma­tised man sim­ply sat there with his legs stretched out and his hands on his lap.

Po­lice closed the M2 West to­wards the Jo­han­nes­burg CBD for hours as they tried to con­tain all roads lead­ing to the hos­tel. At the en­trance to the hos­tel the sound of mbaqanga and maskandi mu­sic could be heard.

Next to the se­cu­rity gate was a group of men hav­ing the usual beef braai.

“They came in with lot of cars‚ got some peo­ple and left‚” said one of the res­i­dents‚ de­scrib­ing how po­lice had swooped on the flee­ing gang.

Po­lice spokesman Cap­tain Mavela Ma­sondo said cash-in­tran­sit heists were be­com­ing a se­ri­ous prob­lem for the po­lice in Gaut­eng.

“It is a worry for us as the po­lice with the num­ber of cash-in-tran­sit heists 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,” said Ma­sondo.

Po­lice have ar­rested five sus­pects‚ re­cov­ered a sus­pected get­away ve­hi­cle and a ri­fle. Eight peo­ple were in­jured. –

/ SUP­PLIED

The messy crime scene on At­las Road in Boks­burg where two cash-in-tran­sit vans were bombed by men trav­el­ling in an SUV and other ve­hi­cles and wield­ing assault ri­fles yes­ter­day.

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