Part of the loot found on granny
Police have bust a gang of six suspects, among them a 22-year-old woman, believed to be responsible for a series of heists in Gauteng and Mpumalanga.
The gang, along with two security guards, were arrested in Daveyton in Ekurhuleni and Mpumalang yesterday after an armed robbery at Jet Mart store in the Daveyton Mall on Tuesday morning.
Police recovered R22000 of the estimated R270000 stolen by the gang after raiding the their hideouts yesterday.
The woman cannot be identified until she appears in court, along with the other five suspects.
Also recovered in the joint operation by the SAPS and the Ekurhuleni metro police was an R4 rifle.
A new stove and a new pair of designer takkies, allegedly bought with the spoils of the robbery, were found. Apparently no sooner had the alleged gangsters netted their loot than they went on a spending spree. One suspect used ill-gotten cash to buy a new stove.
Captain Alfred Nakana of the Daveyton police said part of the money was found on a woman believed to be the mother or grandmother of one of the suspects.
Those arrested were traced to Enkangala in Mpumalanga, KwaThema in Springs, and to various parts of Daveyton.
The three suspects arrested with the woman are 29, 42 and 47 years old.
The two security guards are 30 and 34 years old.
Shopkeepers at the busy mall said the robbery proved the people of the area were becoming sitting ducks for brazen armed robbers.
According to Nakana, the robbery occurred while the manager of the Jet Mart store, Moses Phiri, was unlocking the door of the shop at about 8.30am.
A man with a gun forced him and a handful of his staff into the shop.
"As this was happening, five other members of the gang were placed at strategic points near where a guard stood.
"Other staff arriving for work were also forced into the shop at gunpoint.
"The shop was robbed of the long weekend's takings," Nakana said.
He said that a police team investigating the case had not ruled out the possibility that the robbery was carried out with the help of an employee of the store.
Nakana said that a police check of the shop's closed-circuit TV system showed that its cameras were not working at the time of the robbery.
"The system was apparently cut long before the robbery, which is enough to make us suspect that this was an inside job," he said.