- Cash-in-transit heists in general are becoming more violent and organised in nature, involving a large number of perpetrators, G4S has said.
- On Friday, an SANDF member and a police officer were among 13 suspects arrested following a heist on the West Rand.
- G4S says heists can only be addressed through close collaboration between the government, law enforcement and business.
G4S has raised concerns over the level of violence used when armed gangs target its cash-in-transit vehicles.
This as an SA National Defence Force (SANDF) member and a police officer were among 13 suspects arrested following a cash-in-transit heist in Carletonville on the West Rand on Friday.
G4S South Africa MD Renso Smit, said: “Looking at attacks across the year compared with the previous two years, the number of attacks overall has remained relatively constant. Attacks on G4S have also not varied materially from year to year.
“What has changed is the level of violence. Cash-in-transit attacks in general are becoming more violent and organised in nature, and involving a large number of perpetrators.”
About the heist on Friday, West Rand District police commissioner Major-General Fred Kekana said they received information on Friday morning and activated all law enforcement in the district and province.
“The vehicles were spotted driving towards Carletonville and marked vehicles and unmarked vehicles proceeded to the area. Detectives of Carletonville spotted the Mercedes-Benz and Audi A3, and followed it until it entered into a specific house and they called for back-up.
“On their arrival, they managed to arrest four suspects – three males and one female. On further enquiry, we managed to arrest six other suspects.”
Kekana said the police recovered “millions of cash” from the Audi A3, which was fitted with false number plates.Money from a cash-in-transit van (Supplied by SAPS)News24
“We then searched the house and found a lot of dagga and in the same Audi that was used in the commission of the crime, we also found commercial explosives.
“One of the arrested suspects is a member of the SA Police Service who is stationed in Carletonville who was off duty. One of the other suspects who we managed to arrest is a member of the SA National Defence Force based in Lenasia. The same SANDF member was arrested months back in Wedela where there was a cash-in-transit heist.
“He is currently out on bail and is still attending court with regards to the same cash-in-transit-heist,” he added.
According to Smit, the gang attempted to bomb the security vehicle.
“The vehicle was installed with anti-theft polyurethane foam, which solidifies around the cash when a vehicle is rammed, bombed or shot at. The hardened foam encases the CIT vehicle’s vault, rendering the cash useless.”
Kekana said information gleaned after the suspects were interrogated led police officers to Krugersdorp.
He added officers recovered a Hyundai Tucson that was used in the commission of crime in Munsieville.
“In the Tucson, we found unlicenced ammunition and we also got a Quantum kombi which was used to transport these criminals after they bombed the cash van.”
In Krugersdorp, the team arrested three suspects.
Kekana said in total, 13 suspects were arrested.
On Wednesday, a security guard was shot and wounded during a failed cash-in-transit heist in Soweto, Johannesburg.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Netshiunda said G4S security guards were collecting money at a filling station along Chris Hani Road when they were ambushed by an armed gang of seven.
Netshiunda added a security guard was shot in the shoulder, saying the suspects allegedly robbed the injured guard of his firearm but left the scene without taking any money.
Cash-in-transit robbers struck again on Thursday when they ambushed two Fidelity guards after they parked their vehicle on the pavement on Cavendish Road to collect money from a motor spares store.
Netshiunda said a Fidelity security guard was airlifted to hospital after he was shot several times on his lower body.
Last week, a fatal cash-in-transit heist, involving a G4S vehicle, was recorded on the R57 near Sasolburg in the Free State.
A 38-year-old Sedibeng Tactical Response Team officer was killed while a second was wounded when they responded to the robbery.
Netcare911 spokesperson Shawn Herbst said three G4S security guards and the wounded police officer were transported to various hospitals in Vaalpark.
Smit said G4S believed cash-in-transit attacks could only be addressed through close collaboration between the government, law enforcement and business.
“While we are working extremely hard to eliminate CIT attacks by making it more difficult for criminals, we remain concerned over the co-ordinated nature of CIT crime in the country, and believe it is critical that the SAPS prioritise CIT crime as a matter of urgency.
“Our priority is keeping our people safe from harm. In order to do this, we are constantly investing in updating operational systems, technology and in training, which includes deploying the best in-vehicle technologies. We have also increased our ground and air tactical support teams significantly.
“G4S is calling on law enforcement and the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority] to prioritise CIT crime prevention, arrests and prosecutions.
“It is critical that criminals are sent a clear message that the state will not tolerate these crimes, and that there will be swift and tough consequences for perpetrators,” he added.