Alleged business robberies syndicate arrested

BELA BELA – Five suspects believed to be part of a business robberies syndicate operating around the province were arrested after committing a business robbery at a clothing store in Bela-Bela Central Business District (CBD) on Thursday.

According to police four men and two women allegedly arrived at the store at about 10:30, driving in a white VW Polo and black City Golf.

Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, Limpopo Provincial Police Spokesperson, said after entering the store, the suspects ordered the staff to lie down and tied them up.

Mojapelo said the store manager was in the process, allegedly instructed to unlock the safe and put about 198 different cellphones models into a bag.

“The incident was reported to the police and Bela-Bela crime intelligence unit immediately started following leads. Information was disseminated to stations for look out,” explained Mojapelo.

He said one of the suspect’s vehicle, a City Golf, was spotted next to Maubane off-ramp by Pienaarsrivier police, taking the direction towards Gauteng Province.

“A car chase ensued and five suspects were cornered and arrested. 29 Samsung J4 Core cellphone handsets, eight Hisense U605, nine Nokia 1 plus, five Samsung A10, 11 Nokia 105, a Huawei Y6, 11 Exact wrist watches, 15 wallets and a black City Golf were recovered. The estimated value of the recovered items is close to R90 000,” said Mojapelo.

Mojapelo added that preliminary investigations revealed that all the suspects were from Gauteng Province and were linked to a series of business robberies across Limpopo Province and other provinces.

“The suspects, who were apparently targeting sports and clothing stores, have already been linked to a series of similar crimes that were committed since January 2019 in Limpopo and other provinces. Police are still tracing the other suspects. Anyone with information is requested to contact the crime stop number 08600 10111 or the nearest police station,” further said Mojapelo.

The suspects, aged between 30 and 33 years-old appeared before the Bela-Bela Magistrates Court on Monday on charges of business robberies and possession of suspected stolen properties.

Their case was postponed to 22 August 2019 for formal bail application and further police investigations.

Thapelo Motseo

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