Fifty-two Zimbabweans have been arrested in the past two weeks in connection with armed robberies in Gauteng, the police said yesterday.
Superintendent Fanie Molapo, of the police's special investigations unit, said the robbers often targeted supermarkets.
On Saturday a Zimbabwean was killed and two of his countrymen were wounded in an exchange of fire with police in Diepsloot, north-west of Johannesburg.
The men were suspected of robbing a bank and a filling station in Johannesburg earlier that day.
"We received a tip-off that the suspects were at a certain house in Diepsloot," Molapo said.
On Sunday six Zimbabweans were arrested after a foiled robbery at a Wimpy restaurant at The Glen shopping centre in the south of Johannesburg.
"The restaurant had been robbed a couple of times during its busiest hours.
"We received a tip-off that a gang of men was planning to rob it again during the day on Sunday," Molapo said.
The men were arrested at the mall and firearms were found in their possession.
Molapo said most of the other 44 arrests were made in Hillbrow.
In the past two weeks, 19 Pick 'n Pay and Spar supermarkets have been robbed in Gauteng. - Sapa