APEL – Police have arrested a 38 year-old suspect while the other has been fatally injured during a business robbery that took place at Usave Supermarket at Apel last Wednesday evening, 10 January 2018 at about 18:05.
Police said according to information in their possession, five suspects armed with firearms entered the Usave Supermarket and accosted staff members, threatening them with firearms. They started emptying the tills and ransacked the main office.
The suspects then ordered the store manager to open the safe and took an undisclosed amount of money.Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, Limpopo Provincial Police Spokesperson, said police were summoned and swiftly managed to corner and apprehended one suspect inside the supermarket.
Mojapelo said four suspects managed to flee in different directions while police attempted to apprehend them.He said the arrested suspect, who is from Ga-Masemola, had just been released on parole on 30 November 2017 after serving eight years imprisonment for business robbery.
“As the suspects were fleeing from the scene on foot, they allegedly started firing at the police and a shootout ensued, resulting in the second suspect being fatally wounded. A 38 special revolver, 21 cellphones and cash amount of money were recovered next to his body. The deceased suspect has been identified as the one who was terrorizing communities and businesses in Sekhukhune district. He has been positively linked to a number of business robberies that were committed in the area,” explained Mojapelo.
Mojapelo added that during the shootout, a police sergeant sustained gunshot injuries and has been admitted to hospital in a stable condition.
“An undisclosed amount of money was robbed during the incident. Cases of business robbery, attempted murder and possession of unlicensed firearm were opened and police investigations are continuing,” said Mojapelo.
The arrested suspect, Lethabo Mokalapa (38) appeared before Sekhukhune Magistrates Court on Friday 12 January 2018 and was remanded in custody until Monday 29 January 2018 for formal bail application.
Mojapelo said police were still tracing the suspects who are still at large and were hoping to make arrests soon.
The Provincial Commissioner, Lt General Nneke Ledwaba has commended the members for their swift response to the robbery in progress and the arrest of one of the suspects.
Anyone with information is requested to contact Captain Boshomane at 084 3221 341, can contact the nearest police station or call the crime stop number 08600 10111 or the crime sms number 32211.