Manhunt for metro cop killers
A BUSINESS robbery at Wonderpark mall in Pretoria resulted in the death of a metro police officer after he was shot by one of the robbers.
Police have now launched a manhunt for five men who are believed to have taken part in the robbery of a jewellery shop and the fatal shooting of Sergeant Piet von Bekkum.
Tshwane metro police spokesman Console Tleane said Von Bekkum, 51, a father of two, was probably not aware of the robbery taking place at NWJ jewellery shop.
"Sergeant Piet von Bekkum was shot at 11am when five robbers emerged from Entrance 4 of the mall after robbing the NWJ jewellery shop at gun point. He was outside the entrance on his police bike, probably unaware that a robbery was underway, when he was confronted by one of the robbers. He was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time," said Tleane.
Tleane said one of the robbers approached Von Bekkum before shooting him from close range.
"One of the robbers went to him and shot him on the chest, at point blank. His firearm was also stolen. The robbers then climbed onto the back of a black Nissan Hardbody which was waiting for them about 10 metres from where Von Bekkum was shot and sped away.
"Another vehicle, a white Nissan Hardbody with a canopy, followed the black one, probably with a view to provide cover."
Tleane said desperate attempts by medical personnel to save Von Bekkum's life were unsuccessful.
"Von Bekkum was rushed to Akasia Clinic where medical practitioners attempted to sustain his life, unfortunately he died just after 12 o'clock. It has since emerged that the black Hardbody was stolen on Wednesday night in Hillbrow, while the white Hardbody also appears to have been stolen," he said. - firstname.lastname@example.org