10-cash-in transit robbery suspects die in police shoot out
A week after Minister of Defence Justice and Security Kagiso Mmusi’s order to “eliminate thieves by all means,” police have killed 10 cash-in transit heist suspects in Gaborone on Wednesday.
The Minister barked the orders when addressing police in their annual Senior Officers Conference last week Monday.
On Wednesday in an operation that lasted about 10 hours, blood flowed freely as men aged between 20 and 35 being five Batswana and five South Africans died in exchange of fire with members of the police in Phase 2, Gaborone. Three of the five gunned down Batswana identified at the time of going to press were Phenyo Leso from Tonota, Khumo Sakarea from Serowe, and Akofang Kgololo from Kanye. Sakarea was out on bail for a P9 million G4S cash-in transit robbery which occurred in August last year.
“It was like a horror movie with continuous gun fire that went on for about 10 hours,” said one of the many eye-witnesses that thronged the scene to watch the shooting.
Director of Crime Intelligence Nunu Lesetedi, police officers, serious crime officers, DISS agents, soldiers and Security Systems officers were spotted at the dramatic scene which had attracted a sizeable number of curious onlookers.
According to Botswana Police Public Relations Officer Assistant Police Commissioner Dipheko Motube, this follows an incident in a gang of 11-armed men attacked and robbed Security Systems Cash-in-transit motor vehicle of over P986 000 at the Main mall.
Motube said that the robbers fled the scene and were later on confronted by the police and an exchange of fire ensued resulting in fatal injuries.
“The police have arrested a 30-year-old Motswana woman who was in the company of the robbers. Four pistols and an AK 47 assault rifle were found in their possession whilst an undisclosed amount of cash was recovered from the robbers,” said the top cop.
According to a source the armed robbers had dumped the BMW get away car they were using in Tlokweng.but and used a Polo to go a house in Phase 2. The cash box allegedly had tracking divers, which led the investigating officers to the scene.
According to Police Commissioner Keabetswe Makgophe, a 16.5% increase of crime was recorded last year.
He said concerned with the rising incidents of robbery attacks, police have resolved to adopt a zero tolerance stance to such, enhance police visibility at crime hotspots and introduction of drone patrols and surveillance at crime hotspots and borderlines.
“If you carry something which resembles a gun to commit an offence, we will confront you in the most appropriate manner. I am not going to allow police officers to be asking a suspect if they are carrying a real gun because by then they will be dead. We are going to do as the minister has said to ensure that we remove thieves out of the streets to allow people to live freely,” said Makgophe
(V1236. 25 February 2022)