There was drama in the Free State on Friday morning when a cash-in-transit heist left one alleged robber dead and three vehicles in flames. Five people were arrested.
The first gang of robbers allegedly burnt their own vehicle during a shoot-out with the police while the second group are alleged to have rammed into the cash van only for both vehicles to go up in flames.
The incident happened around 5.30 am in Bloemfontein, Free State, in Oliver Tambo Street near South Park.
Colonel Brenda Muridili of the national police said a multi-disciplinary team comprised of members from Crime Intelligence, the Tactical Response Team, and Parkweg Hijacking Team received a tip-off about a possible cash-in-transit robbery on the Bloemfontein cash delivery route.
He said they then observed an unknown vehicle ram into an armoured cash van’s escort vehicle.
The cash van continued on its route while the police confronted the suspects and a shoot-out ensued, she said.
During the shoot-out, Muridili said the robbers set their car alight and fled.
It’s believed that while the first group of robbers distracted the escort van, the second batch of robbers went for the cash van.
When police called for backup to go after the first group of robbers, they came across another scene where a cash van and another vehicle were on fire.
The heavily armed suspects thought they managed to get away with their stolen cash, but that lasted for just a few minutes. pic.twitter.com/7jLE9mey0H
— Daily Sun (@dailysunsa) September 4, 2020
It is believed the robbers’ vehicle had burst into flames when it rammed into the cash van, which also caught fire.
“The cash van had been robbed and set alight. More suspects had just fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash,” Muridili said.
One of the suspects’ vehicles was cornered by the police but the suspects abandoned their getaway car and ran away.
“The members gave chase and arrested five suspects. One of them died in the hospital due to a gunshot wound to the head. A security guard injured during the shoot-out was taken to hospital,” she said.
“Police recovered some of the money.”
Muridili said the suspects were expected to appear in court soon to face charges of cash-in-transit robbery as well as the possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.