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Three suspects arrested after a bottle store owner was robbed and killed

Media Statement
South African Police Service
Office of the Provincial Commissioner Free State


FREE STATE - Three armed men allegedly robbed a bottle store in Riebeeckstad of cash. The owner was fatally shot. SAPS members followed information indicating that the same three suspects are receiving medical attention at the hospital. The three suspects were arrested. One suspect who was wounded remained under police guard.

On 16 December 2022 at about 20:15, members of Welkom SAPS received a complaint of an armed robbery at a bottle store in Lois Street, Riebeeckstad, Welkom. On arrival, there were four cartridges and the lifeless body of the business owner.

There were shot wounds on his left thigh, neck, behind his left ear, and left arm. According to witnesses, three suspects jumped from a white Toyota Tazz with dark windows. Allegedly one witness also fired several shots in the direction of the fleeing suspects.

While SAPS members of Welkom visible policing, Welkom K9 Unit, and Welkom Flying Squad were still busy at the crime scene, they received information about suspects matching the description of the armed robbers being at Bongani hospital receiving medical attention. On their arrival, three suspects were found, and one of them sustained a bullet wound on his upper left shoulder.

The two accomplices, aged 20 and 27 years old, were arrested, and the 32-year-old suspect is under police guard at the hospital.

The three suspects will be facing charges of business robbery and murder.


Captain Stephen Thakeng