Well co-ordinated plan comes together as Melrose robbers foiled
Gauteng MEC for community safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane on Thursday shared how a group of officers went undercover to foil what would have been a robbery at a BP filling station, which also houses a Pick n Pay outlet, in Melrose, Johannesburg.
The five suspects were nabbed before they could carry out the crime, with one of them being shot in the leg while trying to escape.
"The law-enforcement teams were placed in strategic positions at the filling station after information surfaced that the robbers would arrive in a silver Nissan Almera and a Toyota Etios. After a short while, the members were alerted that the vehicles were spotted driving with five occupants on Corlett Drive towards the garage," Nkosi-Malobane said in a statement.
Nkosi-Malobane said the Etios had been stolen in Jeppe. Both getaway vehicles had been fitted with false number plates.
"Upon arrival at the filling station, two occupants got out of the car and proceeded to the shop. A shootout ensued when police tried to apprehend the suspects, resulting in one suspect being wounded. All the suspects, including those left inside the car, were arrested promptly for being in possession of hijacked motor vehicles, possession of an unlicensed 9mm firearm and ammunition, and conspiracy to commit an armed robbery," Nkosi-Malobane said.
A search of the vehicle led to the discovery of gloves, balaclavas and cellphones.
Nkosi-Malobane said the operation was a joint effort by various units, including Crime Intelligence, the Hawks, private security guards and various police tracking units.
She said the success of the operation should send a clear message to those contemplating crime.
"In any instance where we get information about criminal activities we shall not hesitate to mobilise our resources and act promptly to effect arrests. Crime-fighting efforts and interventions by our integrated law-enforcement agencies have always produced desirable results," she said.
"Intelligence-driven operations should continue to be the order of the day for us to make an impact as authorities. I am confident that the police will intensify the fight against trio crimes, given the number of cases we experienced in recent times," she added.
The trio crimes are armed robbery of homes and businesses, and hijackings.