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11 to appear for heist

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Five suspects, four from the Free State and one from Kimberley, were forced out of a Ford Ranger and a Toyota Camry before being handcuffed and arrested on the scene by police

Five suspects, four from the Free State and one from Kimberley, Picture: Soraya Crowie

WHILE the eleven suspects arrested during a foiled cash-in-transit heist in Kimberley this week are expected to appear in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court today, it is believed that at least two of the suspects are already standing trial for the K&B cash-in-transit heist which took place in Beaconsfield, Kimberley in 2015.

The eleven suspects, aged between 29 and 44 years old, were arrested in Kimberley on Wednesday afternoon in connection with an attempted robbery incident involving a G4S cash-in-transit vehicle that took place in Cecil Sussman Street, Kimberley at around 11am.

According to information received, the police’s Crime Intelligence unit in Gauteng received information regarding a planned armed robbery of a G4S cash-in-transit vehicle, where over 10 suspects with pistols and an undisclosed number of rifles, together with three motor vehicles, a Hyundai, Toyota Camry and a Ford Ranger, were going to be involved.

They apparently performed an identification of the suspects and surveillance was conducted in Hoopstad, Bloemfontein and Kimberley.

On Wednesday, the Crime Intelligence unit conducted observation at the target area (in Kimberley) and identified the suspects, who were spotted following the G4S vehicle.

At the time of the incident, the G4S vehicle was busy exiting the Sol Plaatje Fresh Produce Market, after collecting a cash drop.

Police pounced on two vehicles, a silver Ford Ranger with a Gauteng number plate and a white Toyota Camry with a Free State number plate, outside the market.

Bystanders reported hearing three shots being fired but it is still unclear who fired the shots.

Five suspects, four from the Free State and one from Kimberley, were forced out of the Ford Ranger and Toyota Camry before being handcuffed and arrested on the scene by police.

More suspects, driving in a red Hyundai with Free State number plates, managed to flee the scene and were later arrested at a house in Verwoerdpark, Kimberley.

At the house, six suspects (from Hoopstad, Kimberley and Bloemfontein) were arrested.

It is believed that at least two of the arrested suspects were also allegedly involved in a the heist of G4S cash-in-transit vehicle in November, 2015, when guards from G4S security were robbed at gunpoint while emptying an ATM adjacent to K&B Supermarket in Beaconsfield, Kimberley.

The two suspects were out on bail at the time of this week’s incident.

It is alleged that more than
R4.5 million was stolen during the incident at K&B and nine suspects are currently facing several charges following the incident.

After this week’s incident, police spokesperson Captain Thabo Litabe said that 11 suspects, between the ages of 29 and 44 years old, were arrested in Kimberley on Wednesday afternoon in connection with an attempted robbery incident of a cash-in-transit vehicle.

“In a collaborative and an intelligence-driven operation between the Hawks, Crime Intelligence and the National Intervention Unit, the police caught up with the unsuspecting criminals at the corner of Phakamile Mabija and Cecil Sussman Streets in Kimberley at around 11am on Wednesday. Five of them were arrested at the scene while six more were arrested at one of the suspect’s houses in Verwoerdpark, Kimberley.

“One rifle with two magazines and 39 rounds as well as one Glock pistol and two magazines with 13 rounds were recovered. Three vehicles that were used by the suspects in the execution of their evil plans were also seized and booked into the SAPS store,” Litabe said.

The suspects were charged with conspiracy to commit an armed robbery, possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition as well as possession of suspected stolen vehicles.

They are expected to appear in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court today.