Police foil robbery: 3 killed, 3 nabbed
THREE suspected robbers were shot dead in Soweto last night during a foiled robbery at a local hardware store.
Police waited as the 10-men gang approached the Cash Build hardware store in Dobsonville following a tip-off about the pending robbery.
Police say one of the killed suspects was on bail for another shoot-out incident with police that had taken place in Northern Cape.
Three of the men were arrested while four managed to escape.
"And when they realised that they were cornered, the suspects, some of whom were armed with AK-47 rifles, fired at police, who returned fire," said the Hawks' spokesman McIntosh Polela.
He said earlier in the day, police received a tip-off that a major robbery was going to take place at the hardware and that they needed to be prepared.
"Our task team then hid around the area, and when the suspects approached they tried to stop them ... but the men started shooting at police. They used different guns including AK-47s," said Polela.
He said the men with AK-47s managed to escape, and police were only able to arrest three suspects. "We discovered only one pistol on the men we managed to arrest."
Residents living near Tshepo Themba Hospital said they heard "massive" gun shots in the street and wondered what was happening.
"At first I thought the shoot-out was happening in the hospital yard, but when I checked I saw people carrying guns running away," said a resident who asked not to be named.
"It was just fortunate that innocent people were not injured or killed because the way the situation was, anything could have happened," the resident said.
Cars coming or going to hospital were affected as the area was cordoned off for about five hours.
Polela said the suspects were expected to appear in court tomorrow to face attempted armed robbery and attempted murder charges.