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Five suspects arrested shortly after robbing Pick ’n’ Pay store

Five alleged robbers were arrested shortly after staging a robbery at Pick ‘n Pay Supermarket in Piet Retief around 1 pm on Thursday, according to Mpumalanga Police Spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala.

Brigadier Mohlala said the suspects seemingly took it for a ‘talk-show’ when the province’s police and other law enforcement agencies promised to tackle criminal activity in a decisive manner.

He said five suspected robbers, aged 30 to 49, had been arrested shortly after robbing a business.

Brigadier Mohlala said armed suspects stormed into the said supermarket and held the victims at gunpoint, saying the robbers then stole some cigarettes and undisclosed amounts of cash.

He said the suspects fled the scene in a VW Jetta loaded with the stolen goods.

“A number of law enforcement agencies, including Visible Policing, Intelligence, detectives, farmers, and the ACSU, responded to the reported crime. A tactical plan was drawn up by the members who mobilized their resources and quickly rounded on their target. The vehicle was spotted on the N12 Road near Piet Retief,” said Brigadier Mohlala.

Mohlala said when police searched the suspects and their vehicle, they discovered three firearms and ammunition, cigarettes, and an undisclosed amount of cash.

‘In the course of an investigation, the police gathered evidence that led them to apprehend the fifth suspect, who is thought to be a member of the gang,” Mohlala said.

The five are scheduled to appear before the Piet Retief Magistrate’s Court on September 5, 2022.

The suspects face several charges, including possession of illegal firearms and ammunition, possession of suspected stolen property, and perhaps participating in an earlier business robbery.

“At this point, police cannot rule out the possibility of charging the suspects with other crimes at this point. We will submit the confiscated firearms for ballistic testing to determine if they were used in any other crimes,” Mohlala added.

The Commissioner of Police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, has expressed her delight at the tremendous outcomes.

“Having witnessed the success that has been achieved, we are grateful for the engagement that was demonstrated by private partners and members. By arresting the five suspects and recovering the firearms, we hope to prove to the community that we are serious about providing a safe environment for everyone.”  Lt Col Manamela said.


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