Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Guard doused with petrol

Doused with petrol, a Pretoria cash-in-transit guard was made to beg for his life by a gang of robbers wielding AK-47s and sledgehammers.

The robbers stole an estimated R600 000 destined for Atteridgeville pensioners.

The attack, which occurred next to the Saulsville hostels in Atteridgeville on Tuesday, appears to have been well orchestrated with the gunmen striking as the cash van driver slowed down at a speed hump in Masopha Street.

The guards, of G4 Security, were attacked during rush hour traffic by eight gunmen driving a stolen Mercedes Benz and a BMW.

Those in the Mercedes Benz raced past the van crashing into it while the BMW blocked the van from behind by blocking motorist Matu Tema who was driving to work.

While several gunmen took up strategic firing positions along the road in anticipation of police, others opened fire on the van shooting and smashing out a window before pouring petrol through the broken glass.

The doused guard was forced to unlock the back of the van after they threatened to set him and his colleagues alight.

With the cash van door and vault open the gunmen disarmed the crew members before helping themselves to their loot.

As they escaped, they stole Tema's cellphone and car keys and then fled in an unknown direction.

"They knew exactly what they were doing.

"From what witnesses have said about how the gunmen took up firing positions in the street to how they attacked the van to taking the cellphone and car keys of the woman trapped between the robbers and the cash van, this was definitely well orchestrated," said a detective.

A visibly shaken Tema declined to comment.

Her husband, who declined to be named, said: "This is unexpected. You pray to God that this never happens to your family."

Police spokesperson, Captain Bonginkosi Msimango, confirming the attack said the robbers had made off with a substantial amount of money.

"The driver (after being doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight) opened the back of the van through remote control and the gunmen stole the money," he said.

He added that they were following up on a number of leads and were hoping to make arrests soon.

He said no one was seriously injured in the attack.

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