What started as a routine Friday morning patrol turned into a harrowing shootout between police and would-be robbers in Lombardy East near Alexandra in Johannesburg.
Eagle-eyed officers spotted a gun on an occupant of a white Toyota Quest as he alighted. When the officers approached the man in order to search him, he opened fire on them and attempted to flee.
Police raid robbers den after shootout
The situation turned even more precarious for the police officers as more armed suspects from a nearby house joined the gun battle and fired at the police.
One suspect was ultimately arrested while the others fled the scene.
“Upon searching the house and a cottage police found two AK-47 rifles, an R1 rifle, two pistols, magazines loaded with ammunition of different calibre, a car jamming device, hand gloves and other robbery implements,” police said in a statement.
“Inside the yard were ten vehicles and eleventh vehicle was outside. Three of the cars, a BMW, Mercedes Benz and Audi A4, came positive as hijacked in Sunnyside, Daveyton, and Kwa-Mhlanga in Mpumalanga Province. Three of the cars, a BMW, Mercedes Benz and Audi A4, came positive as hijacked in Sunnyside, Daveyton, and Kwa-Mhlanga in Mpumalanga Province.
“Preliminary evidence suggests that the suspects were in the middle of plotting to commit an aggravated crime before they were disturbed by the police,”
police said in a statement.
Police commended for recent arrests
Police have launched a search for the suspects that escaped while an investigation is underway to establish if the arrested suspect and the weapons could be linked to other crimes.
The Provincial Commissioner of police in Gauteng, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, applauded the officers who were observant and vigilant during their patrol.
“It is clear that these suspects were in a meeting, conspiring to commit a serious and violent crime that could have resulted in injuries and/or fatalities of innocent citizens. In the past few weeks police in Gauteng have foiled serious robberies, recovered high-calibre firearms where suspects have succumbed to injuries during a shootout with the law enforcement. This is an indication that police in the province are on high alert to protect the properties and lives of the citizens,” said Lieutenant General Mawela.