police foil store robbery

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

An eight-man gang's plan to rob a major chain store outlet was foiled by police and left three of the men dead after a shootout.

The gang wanted to rob a Pick n Pay outlet in Rosettenville, south of Johannesburg, on Sunday night.

Unfortunately for them the crime intelligence covert collection directorate was on their trail and foiled their plans.

National crime intelligence spokesman Senior Superintendent Tummi Golding believes the syndicate is linked to ATM bombings and a hijacking case in Florida, west of Johannesburg.

Two of the men died on the scene and one at the Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital.

Three of them were seriously wounded and taken to hospital, where they are under police guard.

The other two were arrested and taken to Johannesburg Central police station's high-risk cells.

Golding said: "None of the SAPS members or public were injured.

"A case of robbery has been opened and the two men are expected to appear at the Johannesburg magistrate's court today."

The police confiscated three handguns and two cars - a VW Polo that was stolen in Florida earlier this month, and a Toyota Tazz. The men are aged between 35 and 45 years.

"Citizens' participation in crime prevention is indispensable and tends to yield good results..

"The SAPS calls on all stakeholders to focus their efforts on this challenge," Golding said.

She added that the police were trying to fight criminals targeting businesses.

"The latest statistics show the effect of crime on large businesses has increased by 6 percent," she said. "Such businesses are in existence to boost the economy."