POLICE yesterday bust eight of the 12 robbers who had just hit a shopping mall.
The gang robbed a Nedbank and Eastern Pearl jewellery store at the Menlyn Retail Park in Pretoria at about 9am.
One group hit the bank while the other held up the jewellery store staff.
After bagging their loot, the gang used three vehicles and escaped in different directions. Using the Garsfontein road exit, the group in a white Toyota Corolla shot and wounded a security guard in the shoulder on their way out of the mall.
They then abandoned the getaway vehicle a short distance away. One of the robbers was shot and wounded by police as he tried to hijack a motorist.
Police had to use sniffer dogs and a chopper to round up robbers who were running in different directions.
Suspecting that some of the robbers were hiding in a nearby storm water pipe, police used a fire hydrant to flood the pipe. But there was nobody inside. A second suspect was shot as he also tried to hijack a kombi.
Superintendent Andrew Lesh said they could not say how much was stolen.
He said a small amount of money was recovered but the jewellery was not recovered.
"We are uncertain about the amount of cash stolen from the bank, so it is impossible to say that we recovered all of the stolen money. We also seized two handguns," he said.
Police spokesperson sergeant Lynette Erasmus said eight suspects were arrested and are facing charges of attempted murder, armed robbery and possession of unlicensed firearms.
With the festive season around the corner, Gauteng shopping centres have become targets for robbers.
On Sunday, a bakery at Dunkeld West Shopping Centre in northern Johannesburg was robbed while Greenstone Mall in eastern Johannesburg was hit twice.
The attack happens a day after robbers hit the Kollonade shopping centre in Pretoria north.