The police in Mangaung Metro have launched a manhunt for about eight suspects who committed business burglary at a retail chain store in the Mall situated at the corner of First Avenue and Kings Way, Willows in Bloemfontein. According to reports, a group of about eight male suspects entered the mall on Sunday, 03 September 2023 at about 18:00, and headed to the retail store. They then smashed the store windows using hammers, stormed in and robbed the store of expensive perfumes, sunglasses and clothing.
The group is alleged to have then split into two, with one group running towards the Kings Way exit and the other heading towards the storm water drainage tunnel on the west side of the mall. It is said that the group heading towards the tunnel came across a female person and attempted to rob her of her belongings. An off-duty member of the Department of Correctional Service witnessed the robbery and tried to intervene. One of the assailants pulled a firearm, took aim at the official and the shot that went off hit him slightly on the forehead. The group ran away and disappeared in the storm water drainage tunnel.
At the Kings Way exit, the other group held a security officer hostage. SAPS members patrolling along Kings Way noticed the commotion and stopped to investigate. The robbers opened fire on the police vehicle and the 41-year-old constable attached to Mangaung Metro District Operational Command Centre (Crime Combating Unit) was hit on the right hip by the bullet. He then tried to drive away for safety, but became unconscious. The member of the Correctional Service was robbed of a firearm with ammunition.
The suspects fled the scene in different directions on foot and in motor vehicles. Both wounded officials were rushed to the hospital for medical treatment. A team of experts was summoned to process the scene. Dockets of business burglary, attempted murder, and robbery of a firearm were then opened at Parkweg Police Station.
Any member of the public who might have information that can help in the investigation of the case or lead to the arrest of the suspects is requested to contact Colonel Msokoli Bolsiek at 082 466 8530. Alternatively, the information can be submitted on the MySAPS App or by calling the SAPS Crime Stop number at 08600 10111.
Content retrieved from: https://www.saps.gov.za/newsroom/msspeechdetail.php?nid=48209.