Three suspects have been shot and killed in a shootout between members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and a group of armed robbers in Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga this morning.
During a joint Crime Intelligence driven operation, comprising of members of the SAPS Limpopo Tracking Teams, Mpumalanga Tracking Teams and Bushbuckridge Tactical Response Teams, members responded to a Cash-In –Transit heist in progress at a Post Office in Bushbuckridge.
As the group of armed robbers were busy off-loading money from the Fidelity cash van outside the Post Office where they had held the security officers hostage, the multidisciplinary team intercepted them leading to a high speed chase which led to a shootout between the suspects and the police.
Three suspects were shot and killed, another two of the suspects who were shot and wounded have been transported to a nearby health facility under police guard.
An unknown number of suspects fled the scene in a Toyota Hilux and a silver Mercedes Benz after they forcefully stopped passerby’s and thereafter hijacked them.
The Toyota Hilux was later recovered abandoned near Hazyview.
In the process, police managed to recover some of the stolen money, two pistols and three vehicles which include the hijacked Toyota Hilux, a Ford Ranger and Toyota Fortuna that were used by the suspects and were later found to be both fitted with false registration number plates.
It is unfortunate that during the shootout a member of the SAPS, sustained a gunshot wound. The member has been taken to the nearest health facility where he is receiving medical treatment.
Police have also notified the health department to be on the lookout for a suspect or suspects with a gun-shot wound who could seek medical help as the hijacked Toyota Hilux was found with blood stains.
The National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Khehla Sitole has wished the member in hospital a speedy recovery and thanked the teams for their bravery and swift action. He has also instructed the implementation of the 72-hour activation plan to mobilise all resources in a bid to apprehend the remaining suspects.
General Sitole is also calling on communities to assist the work and investigation of the police into this matter.
Therefore, members of the public are further forewarned that harbouring criminals is a criminal offense hence if found hiding or assisting these suspects in any way, they too would be guilty of a crime.
Members of the public are again reminded to call the SAPS hotline on 0860010111 to report any information to authorities. The public is reminded that information and their identity will be treated with the strictest confidence. Callers may also remain anonymous.
Enquiries: Brigadier Vish Naidoo : 0825674153