Criminals got the better of the police yesterday when two officers were robbed of their firearms as they walked into an armed robbery at a service station in Pinetown.
Police spokesman Inspector Solomon Mbhele said the two cops had entered the 24-hour convenient store at a service station when they were held up by five armed men at Westmead.
"The gang held up the cops and stole their service pistols, the keys of their van, an undisclosed amount of cash, walkie-talkies and cigarettes from the shop," he said.
Mbhele said the robbers fled on foot and were still at large. No one was injured during the robbery.
The incident highlights the increase in robbery and hijackings as latest crime statistics released by the police in June indicated.
The statistics indicated that business robberies had increased by almost 50 percent in KwaZulu-Natal compared to the previous years.
The SAPS said that business robberies occurred in CBD areas or on the periphery of the CBD.
They said while 75 percent of crimes were recorded in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, the increase in KZN was significantly high.
Meanwhile, Mtubatuba police are searching for a cattle herder who allegedly raped a 14-year-old girl on Saturday.
Captain Jabulani Mdletshe said the girl was with her 10-year-old brother when she was attacked and dragged into a nearby bush by the suspect and allegedly raped.