Armed gang goes on ATM bombing spree

Penwell Dlamini and Themba Molefe

Penwell Dlamini and Themba Molefe

A gang of about 30 robbers blasted two ATMs in two attacks in North West yesterday.

This happened a day after three policemen and two other men appeared in the Klerksdorp magistrate's court charged with the bombing of an FNB ATM in Jouberton, also in North West.

Yesterday the 30-man gang attacked a Sasol garage in Silkaatsnek, near Brits, at about 2.50am.

"The armed men forced petrol attendants into the convenience store and robbed it of an undisclosed amount of cash," said Inspector Brian Dlamini.

He said while some men held customers and staff hostage the others blew up the ATM and escaped with an undisclosed amount of cash in five BMWs.

No shots were fired and no one was injured.

About 25 minutes later another filling station was robbed at Hartbeespoortdam, about 20km from Pretoria, by a gang of six men.

An ATM was also bombed.

"Shots were fired at a security guard but no one was injured.

"The men escaped with an undisclosed amount from the ATM and the garage shop," said Superintendent Louis Jacobs.

Jacobs said police suspect there was a link between the two incidents.

"We are treating these blasts with urgency and are making regular patrols in the most suspected areas," said Jacobs.

Meanwhile, Johannesburg Metro police yesterday arrested a man with a gun and an FNB cash machine in Alexandra.

"Police stopped three men in a VW Golf on 8th Avenue," said Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar.

He said the driver tried to bribe one of the officers who then tried to arrest him. The suspect bit the officer's finger and all three escaped.

Police fired shots and one suspect was injured. He ran into a house where he was arrested.