In The News South Africa

Free State police pounce on gang of suspected armed robbers

BETHLEHEM, June 17– Four men are in custody in Bethlehem in the Free State after they went on a robbing spree in the Bohlokong area, police said on Friday.

The arrest of the four suspects on charges of attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and possession of illegal firearms and ammunition came after a special team of detectives were set up to probe the store robberies.

“They were caught by members of the Tactical Response Team (TRT) and Crime Intelligence on the wee hours of the morning (June 16) while they slept the night away after hitting two separate shops,” Free State police said in a statement.

The men are accused of holding a shop owner in Bohlokongat gunpoint before robbing him of cash and cell phones on Thursday morning. They then targeted another shop owner.

“At about 18:00 the same day, armed suspects again hit a shop in Extension 1 Bohlokong where more cash, airtime vouchers, a laptop and cigarettes were taken. A 35-year- old customer who had visited the store was shot in the thigh and wounded. He is in a local hospital reportedly stable,” the statement said.

“Suspects have also been positively linked to a third business robbery which occurred earlier this month in Bohlokong.”

The suspects were expected to appear in the Bethlehem Magistrate’s Court next week.


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