South Africa has a major cash-in-transit heist problem and the South African Police Service (SAPS) is seemingly at its wits’ end. On Wednesday, 29 April, a heist in Macassar, Cape Town made the headlines after a video and images of the act surfaced online.
Around the same time, another video – leaked dashboard footage from the inside of an armoured vehicle – went viral and received international media coverage. The video was from a cash-in-transit heist that took place in Pretoria on Thursday, 22 April.
WATCH: FOOTAGE FROM CASH-IN-TRANSIT HEISTS GO VIRAL
Dramatic footage from the inside of a cash-in-transit vehicle made waves on social media and offered a new perspective to the danger cash-in-transit security personnel face on a daily basis.
The clip, which is time and date stamped, is from an incident that took place on the N4 highway Pretoria. The armoured vehicle is attacked on the road but the driver and his colleague maintain cool heads, and take the fight to the suspects, and manage to evade and ram one of the assailants’ vehicles despite being under fire for much of the three-minute video clip.
SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo told TimesLive that the incident took place on the N4 in Pretoria and said the suspects abandoned the heist after the brave display by the CIT staff.
“The driver of the CIT vehicle managed to evade the robbers for a while but later stopped in wait for the robbers. The robbers fled without taking any money,” said Naidoo.
Naidoo added that no arrests have been made thus far.
Fortis Pro Active Defence Solutions identified the driver as Leo Prinsloo, a former SAPS member and current instructor at the security company. The company said Leo is unavailable for comment because the incident is part of an ongoing investigation.
In Macassar on Wednesday, a group of men attacked a cash-in-transit van, which resulted in several crime scenes across Cape Town. A police sergeant and a security guard were injured in one of the shooting incidents.
After a dramatic shootout, the suspects fled the scene in two hijacked vehicles but a strong response by SAPS led to their capture. “The suspects were tracked down to Khayamandi taxi rank in Stellenbosch. Three suspects were arrested and five firearms including three AK-47 rifles as well as five vehicles were seized in Stellenbosch. Two of the vehicles were hijacked by the suspects as they fled the Macassar scene,” said Naidoo.
‘SAPS MUST CHANGE ITS RESPONSE TO CASH IN TRANSIT ROBBERIES’
Earlier this year, on 19 February, Police Minister Bheki Cele delivered the third quarter crime statistics and he was very frank with his speech. “It is clear the SAPS MUST change its responses to Cash in transit robberies,” said Cele.
The minister said the current plan “is clearly not working” citing the 66.7 percent increase in attacks on cash-in-transit vehicles, year-on-year, in the third quarter. In total, 65 CIT heists took place in Q3; Gauteng was the most affected province, as it is home to 20 of the top 30 police stations with the most “robbery of cash in transit cases”.
MOST COMMON CIT HEISTS
The two viral CIT videos from this week appear to illustrate the most prevalent types of CIT heists in the country – “Armoured Vehicle on the road” and “Cross Pavement Parking.” In the Pretoria video, the cash-in-transit heist is attempted on the N4 highway in broad daylight while the Maccasar clip plays out in a shopping centre parking area.
The other types of CIT heists that SAPS classify are: “Merchant Retail Inside Store”, “ATM Site”, “Paypoint”, “Static AV Street”. Together they accounted for eight of the 65 CIT heists.
According to the statistics, explosives were used in 10 CIT heists while the armoured vehicle was on the road, but in none of the other types of a heist. Firearms were used to intimidate cash-in-transit workers on 39 occasions and shots were fired in 13 heists.