Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele is encouraged by the quick response of members of the South African Police Service who upon suspicion, pounced on armed gang who were planning to execute an aggravated crime.
It is reported that two police officers based at the Sandringham police station where on routine patrols, when they spotted a suspicious vehicle with three occupants. The members then noticed a firearm on one of the occupants who got out of the car, the officers then approached to search the man. It is alleged that the armed suspect then drew his firearm and fired shots at the police.
An unconfirmed number of armed men reportedly emerged from a nearby house and a shootout between the police and the suspects ensued. The members arrested one suspect while the others fled in two vehicles and others on foot.
Police searched the house and found a number of AK47, R1 rifles and pistols, including magazines loaded with ammunition a car jamming device and other robbery implements. Police also found eleven vehicles inside the yard, some of which were hijacked.
A manhunt has been launched to trace the suspects that escaped.
Minister Cele has applauded the officers who acted on instinct and believes if not for their intervention, the armed gang would have committed a violent crime.
“It is indeed encouraging that while police have to maintain law and order during a pandemic whilst ensuring the adherence to COVID-19 regulations, they remain vigilant. I know that this incident is one of many across the country that clearly shows that police officers have not dropped the ball in fulfilling their constitutional obligations which is to prevent, combat and investigate crime.” – Cele concluded.