Cigarette van robbers due in court

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Decorative Scales of Justice
Seven suspects, apprehended on charges relating to robbery in the North West province, are expected to appear in the Bafokeng and Rustenburg Magistrate’s courts tomorrow (Monday).

According to the police spokesperson Kelebogile Moleko, this comes after two unrelated armed robberies involving cigarette vans.

She says police are still searching for two more suspects, who are allegedly also involved in these robberies.

In the first case in Tlhabane, police arrested five suspects after swiftly responding to a tip-off that about four armed and balaclava wearing men were seen hijacking a cigarette van outside a liquor store on Thursday.

“The suspects pointed the driver ofthe cigarettes van and his crew with firearms and drove the hijacked vehicle toa private area in the bushes. They allegedly robbed the victims of theircellphones and cash, then drove off. The police were alerted, and managed toapprehend five suspects. The suspects are facing charges of car-hijacking,robbery and attempted murder,” explains Moleko.

In the second unrelated case in Rustenburg, two suspects were arrested for robbery, possession of suspected stolen goods and illegal possession of firearm andammunition on Friday. This after four unknown men hijacked a cigarette delivery vehicle just after leaving a depot.

“According to information, one of the suspects then drove thehijacked vehicle loaded with cigarettes while other suspects drove with thevictim in another van.

“The victim was taken to a house that is still under construction in Phokeng where he was fastened with cable ties and left inside by the suspects who left the place on foot.

“The police, who were alerted about the incident and already inpursuit of the delivery vehicle, arrested one of the suspects in Phokeng after he lost control of the vehicle.

“A 9mm pistol with aloaded magazine and cigarettes were recovered.  A further search resulted in the apprehension of another suspect driving a vehicle along R104 road inRustenburg, ” Moleko adds.

ProvincialCommissioner Baile Motswenyane commends police in the Rustenburg cluster for their quick response and urges the community to also come forward with information that might lead to more arrests.

Katleho Morapela/Courant News

katleho@centralmediagroup.co.za