News: Police pounce on gang targeting filling stations: one suspect arrested and manhunt launched in search of three others

PARKTOWN – In line with the SAPS’ commitment to reduce the volumes of serious and violent crime in Gauteng, a multi-faceted team that includes Tracker, on Wednesday 13 November 2019, made a breakthrough in the investigation of a spate of armed robberies at a number of filling stations in Johannesburg.

An intelligence-driven operation was activated after filling stations were hit by armed robbers in Booysens, Mondeor, Randburg, Norwood and the most recent in Edenvale on Wednesday a day ago. All these robberies were committed in November 2019.

The investigation of these robberies flagged the same vehicle, a white Chevrolet Cruize which was subsequently spotted by the police on Wednesday morning, 13 November 2019 on the N12 West near the Diepkloof Interchange. This was after the filing station in Edenvale was robbed.

A high speed chase ensued and it is alleged that shots were fired from the said Chevrolet Cruise. Police returned fire and the suspect’s vehicle lost control and drove into a ditch. Three suspects escaped while the fourth suspect who was wounded, was arrested by the police.

An immediate inspection by the Vehicle Crime Invetigating Unit members confirmed that the vehicle had been hijacked as per a case reported at Umlazi, KwaZulu Natal in April 2019.

Police recovered from the scene an unlicensed firearm and ammunition, cellphones, cigarettes and an undisclosed amount of cash suspected of having been taken during the robbery at the filling station.

A case of possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition, possession of hijacked vehicle, as well as possession of suspected stolen property has been opened. The firearm will be subjected to ballistic testing to establish possible linkage to more armed robberies.

Police have launched a manhunt for the three suspects that escaped and are appealing to anyone who may have information that could lead to the apprehension of the suspects to report to the police by calling the Crime Stop number 08600 10111 or by giving a tip-off on the newly launched MySAPS app that can be downloaded onto any smartphone.

Source: South African Police Service