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2023/08/25      |  Written By:  Brigadier S Mohlala   |   Province:  Mpumalanga

Nelspruit: 24 August 2023- Three business robbery suspects aged between 27 and 42 miscalculated police's potential when they boarded a taxi to evade arrest in Ogies yesterday, 23 August 2023 at about 13h00. According to information, the police in Ogies received a complaint of business robbery in progress in one of the chain stores in their area. Police attended to the complaint whereby two suspects who were in a strategically observing positions outside the crime scene allegedly hijacked a silver Isuzu LDV bakkie.

The suspects are said to have fired some shots towards the police whilst fleeing the scene in the said hijacked vehicle. They reportedly dumped the bakkie for a white VW Polo which they allegedly hijacked as well on the Ogies Kriel T-junction.
The owner of the Polo is said to have fired some shots in an effort to stop them but with no luck. The two suspects are said to have then drove back to Ogies CBD where they noticed a number of police officials as well as business people occupying the main street. The suspects had no option but resorted in dumping the said hijacked VW Polo then fled the scene on foot towards the nearby bushes. Up to so far, the two suspects have not yet been apprehended and they are still sought by the Police.

The other three suspects who remained in the shop somehow tried to get away with undisclosed amount of cash. They reportedly left a Honda Amaze outside the shop. The car is said to have been rented though. It is also suspected that they were supposed to have used it as a get away vehicle. It was during this time that the three reportedly approached a certain minibus operating as a taxi. Further information indicates that they promised the driver thereof to pay him for the unoccupied seats as long as he could quickly get them out of the place. However, police and other law enforcement agencies were all over the town, in every corner. As a result, they intercepted the said taxi whereby the three were cornered and arrested.

During their capture, the three suspects reportedly had two firearms in their possession and the serial numbers thereof were filed off. Further than that, 21 live rounds were also seized from their possession. Undisclosed amount of cash was also recovered and it is suspected that the money was stolen during the robbery. The rented car was seized for now as part of the investigation. The two vehicles, Isuzu bakkie and the VW Polo were also recovered.

The confiscated firearms will undergo ballistic testing to determine if they were not previously used in the commission of crime elsewhere. Therefore more charges could possibly be added against the arrested suspects as the investigation continues. 
The three suspects are expected to appear in Emalahleni Magistrate's Court tomorrow, Friday 25 August 2023.

Meanwhile the Police urge anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the remaining suspects to call the Crime Stop number at 08600 10111 or send information via MYSAPSAPP. All received information will be treated as confidential and callers may opt to remain anonymous.

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has welcomed the arrest and commended the business community for joininng police in cornering the suspects. "We are glad that during the arrest, two firearms were recovered. The proliferation of firearms in the society remains a challenge however we are doing what we can to recover and remove these firearms from the wrong hands, " said the General.