A man has been arrested for allegedly robbing a Telkom store at the Irene Mall on Friday, Gauteng police said.
The man, who was believed to be in his thirties, was part of a group that robbed the store on Friday afternoon, Lt-Gen Lesetja Mothiba said.
“A group of suspects entered the store at about 1.30pm pretending to be shoppers,” said Mothiba.
When the manager of the Telkom store attempted to stop the group from entering the store with the trolley they were pushing, they threatened him with a firearm.
“The suspects then demanded keys to the safe and took cellular phones and cash,” said Mothiba. “The suspects fired shots before fleeing in two vehicles — a Quantum Kombi and an Audi A4.”
The Audi, which was hijacked in Secunda, Mpumalanga, in June, had been recovered. “The Audi was recovered when police later cornered one suspect on Olifantsfontein Road [in Midrand],” said Mothiba.
Two of the cellphones that were stolen had also been recovered. The other suspects were still at large.
Another six people were arrested following a robbery and shoot-out at Centurion Mall near Pretoria on Friday morning.
“In a swift reaction, Lyttelton sector members averted a cellular shop robbery and stopped a Quantum which was escaping with smartphones stolen from a cellular shop at Centurion Mall today,” Mothiba said. “As a result, six suspects were arrested, three firearms and two bags full of cellular phones were recovered.”
Police in the area serving a protection order heard over police radio about the robbery, and saw the Quantum the robbers were using and ordered them to stop. “The driver of the Quantum stopped and one of the suspects pulled out a firearm and tried to shoot at the police. However, he and another suspect were shot and injured,” said Mothiba.
The group earlier held up a Vodacom cellular shop at the mall. “They then forced the employees to load the phones in two bags and later locked everybody, including customers, in a back office,” said Mothiba.
However, the manager of the shop had a spare key, unlocked the back office and called police.
“The suspects will soon appear in court facing business robbery [and] possession of suspected stolen property [charges],” Mothiba said. — Sapa