Police have apprehended two suspected armed robbers after a string of brazen daylight crimes were committed by a group of four.
The criminal quartet are accused of entering the Cresta Mall in Johannesburg on Tuesday 16 June where they attempted to hijack an Opel Corsa.
Youth Day hijacking and robbery at Cresta Mall
According to an SAPS statement on the incident, the men also robbed patrons of the mall in the parking area, taking cellphones and other valuables.
Security guards wise to what was going down alerted the police who met the criminals as they attempted to flee the scene.
Police briefly exchanged gunfire with the criminal quartet injuring one of their number in the process. The injured man and one of his accomplices were arrested, but a further two fled the scene.
The members who attended the incident were able to prevent the men from making off with the vehicle they had hijacked and recovered some of the other stolen property.
“Swift action by police and security guards led to the arrest of two suspects following a robbery and hijacking in Cresta Mall today, 16 June 2020, at about 14:00,” said South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele.
“It is alleged that four suspects were driving a white Toyota Etios and hijacked an Opel Corsa in Cresta Mall’s parking area.
“It is further said that on their way out they robbed a couple of their cell phones and other items.
“Just before the suspects exited the mall, the suspects were met by the police and security guards where a shootout ensued.
“One suspect was shot and injured. The suspect was taken to hospital where he is under police guard while another suspect was arrested at the scene. Two other suspects fled on foot.
“During the arrest, one firearm was recovered and some of the robbed items was also recovered along with the hijacked Opel Corsa.”
Getaway car was an Uber
Police established that the getaway car, utilised during the commission of the crime, was registered with ride-sharing service Uber.
The arrested suspects will appear in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court.
The Provincial Commissioner of Gauteng, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, commended the sterling work and collaborative efforts by the Gauteng police and the security guards and also urged the community to continue to work with the police in the fight against crime by calling Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or by submitting a tip-off on the My SAPS app. Police continue searching for the two accomplices.