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A former sergeant with the police crime intelligence unit was among four suspects arrested after storming into a shop and robbing staff at a mall in Mpumalanga.

The suspects, aged 30 to 39, burst into the shop at Ilanga Mall in Mbombela on Monday “where they held the employees hostage, tied them with cable ties before robbing them of cellphones, laptops as well as cash and computer boxes”, said police spokesperson Brig Selvy Mohlala.

“Meanwhile, one of the workers at the shop was fortunately inside the bathroom during the ... robbery and this employee managed to call for help.

“The security officers at the mall responded swiftly. They cornered the suspects a few moments later as they tried to flee from the scene using a white Toyota Corolla Quest without number plates nor licence disc,” said Mohlala.

 The suspects were found in possession of property suspected to have been stolen during the robbery, including two laptops, cash and computer monitors. Two firearms and ammunition were also seized.

“Among the arrested suspects is a former police sergeant who previously worked at the crime intelligence office in Mpumalanga,” said Mohlala.

They face charges of business robbery, unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition, possession of suspected stolen property, as well as contravention of traffic laws for driving the vehicle without number plates, a licence disc or a valid driver’s licence.

Provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Semakaleng Manamela applauded security officers at the mall: “We have been emphasising the importance of collaborated efforts in the fight against crime, including tackling business robberies, and we are grateful for the efforts displayed by our partners which gives courage that this war is winnable.”



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