Police in Limpopo have arrested one of their own for allegedly attempting to rob a cash in-transit vehicle at gunpoint.
The 34-year-old police sergeant is attached to Tshilwavhusikhu police station, outside Thohoyandou in Venda. He was allegedly working in cahoots with eight other suspects, who were later arrested as well.
The sergeant made the list of the 1 554 suspects arrested for various crimes in the province between Monday last week and Monday this week.
Limpopo police spokesperson, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, said three security guards transporting cash arrived at the Madombhidza Filling Station on Saturday when one of them approached a cash-in-transit vehicle before offloading the money.
"The suspect (sergeant), who was armed with a firearm, suddenly accosted the driver and disarmed him of his service pistol. Another group of about eight suspects suddenly emerged from nowhere and started shooting at the cash van. They then fled in a silver Toyota Hilux but a security guard aged 37, was unfortunately or fortunately arrested in connection with the incident, hours later," said Mojapelo.
Mojapeli said all other suspects were arrested during joint operations, conducted in all the province's five districts. The teams comprised members derived from various units such as Crime Intelligence, Stock theft, Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences, Detectives, POPs, VCIU,K9, Highway Patrol, Visible Policing and Crime Prevention.
The operations involved traffic officers and members of South African National Defence Force (SANDF). He added that the operations resulted in the recovery of firearms, vehicles, as well as confiscation of dagga, liquor, and illicit cigarettes.
"They are facing charges ranging from murder, rape, sexual assault, stock theft, possession of unlicensed firearms, possession of dagga and dealing in drugs, possession of suspected stolen properties, robberies, assault, burglaries, theft, MITP, shoplifting, driving under the influence of liquor, public drinking, possession of illicit cigarettes, illegal immigration, possession of dangerous weapons, possession of suspected stolen motor vehicles, Road Traffic Act and contravention of the regulations under Disaster Management Act.
"Through the hard-work, our police were able to recover 12 firearms, 126 443 illicit cigarettes, 251 761 grams and 32kg of dagga, 32 grams of nyaope drugs, 56 knives, 03 vehicles, 833 891ml liquor. The other properties include groceries, building materials, cellphones, cattle, large amounts of cash, computers, laptops, printer and motor vehicle batteries," said Mojapelo.
He added: "In another incident, the members of a stock theft unit managed to arrest two more suspects believed to be part of a stock theft syndicate operating across the province. On Thursday, 27 August 2020 five suspects aged between 27 and 35 were arrested in Bela-Bela after they were caught transporting seven suspected stolen cattle. Further investigations were conducted and two other suspects aged 32 and 56, were arrested in Mokopane. A total amount of R31 100 in cash was confiscated, as well as seven cattle and a bakkie with trailer. All fourteen (14) cattle were reported stolen at Gedroogte village in Zebediela and were returned to the lawful owner," he said.
The police constable, Ramarumo Tshifhiwa, and his alleged accomplice have appeared in Tshilwavhusiku magistrate's court on Monday, facing charges of armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.
He was remanded in custody until 3 September 2020 for a formal bail application. His alleged accomplice, Matome Rathidili, was granted bail of R5 000. All the other suspects have started appearing before different magistrate's courts around the province.
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