Gang of robbers mistakenly kill fellow thief

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A gang of robbers shot and killed one of their own in a classic case of mistaken identity.

The incident unfolded at Macsteel premises in Burman Road, Deal Party at 3.30am on Friday.

The same gang of five robbers are also believed to have been involved in another robbery – close to Burman Road – only hours before.

The group shot one of their own members in the neck. The police believe they had mistaken him for a security guard.

Police spokesperson Captain Johan Rheeder said the two security guards were attacked on the premises by the five men.

"There are two guards onsite, one at the front section and one at the back. It appears that the 34-year-old guard at the back was attacked first and thrown to the ground by the group.

"One suspect then stood over him and held a knife to his back. He was ordered to lie on the ground and not resist," Rheeder said.

"While the one suspect stood over him, the other four were looking to strip the copper pipes off the building. The guard, however, managed to scream for help."

Rheeder said the other 36-year-old security guard heard the panicked cry and ran to the guard hut to call for help.

"He locked himself inside the hut when one of the suspects knocked on the door demanding he open it. The suspect said that they would kick the door in and kill him. The guard complied and once the suspect was inside the guard fought with him," he said.

"During the scuffle, the other three suspects were still trying to steal items off the building while the fourth was towering over the security guard."

During the scuffle, the attacker yelled for his accomplices to help him and shoot the security guard.

"When the guard heard that they were coming to shoot him, he let the suspect go and locked himself back in the guard hut. The next thing a gun shot was heard and the robbers fled," Rheeder said.

"The two guards managed to meet up and call for help and while investigating, they found the one robber dead inside the premises, near the guard hut."

"Lying next to his body, police found a bag with some of the stolen items."

Seven hours prior to the robbery, a gang of five men robbed the Triple Z Café in Wright Street, Sidwell – about 3km’s away from Macsteel.

“Five men entered the store and took money as well as other small items. They then fled the scene. No one was injured,” Rheeder said.

Rheeder said that it was unknown whether the two robberies were linked, however, he confirmed that it would be investigated.

Two cases of armed robbery and one of murder is under investigation.

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