The police’s Special Task Force (STF) has killed two would-be robbers and wounded a third when it intercepted them on the way to a business premises they had planned to attack. Two more were arrested.
Spokesman Captain Dennis Adriao says the STF was deployed to support the bank reaction unit and the Hi-tech centre which had received information on the robbers` plans.
“The information was that a business premises in Soshanguve, Pretoria was going to be robbed by a gang of armed robbers in two cars,” Adriao says.
“Police spotted the two vehicles, a blue Nissan Almera with two occupants and silver Toyota Tazz with three occupants.
“On approaching the vehicles the Toyota Tazz tried to flee and the occupants started shooting at police. Police returned fire killing two and critically injuring the third.
“The two occupants of the Nissan Almera were also arrested.
“The suspects are aged between 25 and 35 years and initial investigation indicated that they reside in Soshanguve, Adriao says.
Three firearms were seized, all had their serial numbers filed off. The two vehicles were hijacked recently; the Toyota in Soshanguve in December 2008 and the Nissan in Pretoria North a few days ago.
“It is believed that these men could have been responsible for a number of violent crimes in and around Soshanguve and Pretoria. The weapons will be sent to our forensics unit to establish whether they can be linked to any other crimes.”
The STF is normally deployed to deal with criminals who pose a high risk to police. They are also regarded as counterterrorism experts.