THE police are fighting fire with fire and have killed at least 20 robbers within a month.
lYesterday the police received a tip-off about a cash-in-transit heist in Pretoria and acted swiftly. Six robbers were gunned down and an officer was wounded in both legs. No money was taken.
lOn Sunday night three robbers linked to the St Tropez shooting in Durban in 2007 were shot dead in a shoot-out with police.
Police spokesperson Superintendent Vincent Mdunge said the three men from KwaMashu had attempted to rob the Cockie Jack Bar in Berea when police surprised them.
"The men held staff and customers at gunpoint at about 10pm and demanded money. When the men saw the police approaching they opened fire. The officers retaliated and fatally wounded all three suspects," Mdunge said.
He said a 9mm pistol, revolver and shotgun were recovered.
Mdunge said the organised crime unit had been trying to track down the St Tropez suspects since 2007. Later that year police shot dead an armed Rusta Msisi and arrested another man linked to the crime.
Msisi was believed to have been the ringleader of a gang that targeted restaurants in the Musgrave, Berea and Glenwood areas.
lLast Wednesday, a robber was shot dead and another wounded in a scuffle with security guards in Philippi East in Cape Town.
Police spokesperson Inspector Nondumiso Paul said three robbers had attacked two security guards patrolling sites in a residential area.
"One of them struck a guard over the head with a beer bottle. Another tried to take a guard's cellphone.
"In a scuffle with the robbers one of the guards fired three shots. A 25-year-old man was shot dead. A second robber was wounded in his left leg and taken to hospital. The third robber was still at large," said Paul.
The guards were not injured in the incident.
lIn just a week last month police killed more than 10 robbers.
lOn September 1 two suspected robbers were shot dead and two others critically wounded in a shoot-out with police at Bloubosrand in Johannesburg.
lLast month eight robbers were gunned down in Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Soweto. - Sibongile Mashaba