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National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sithole commended his officers on Thursday after police foiled a cash-in-transit heist in Sugar Hill Complex, Tzaneen.

“I have to commend the bravery of our members who did not back down during a shootout and managed to arrest these suspects before they could commit robbery. This is as the result of the police’s pursuance on stamping the authority of the state,” he said.

A team comprising Crime Intelligence and a Tracking Team stopped the robbery at a petrol station and arrested four suspects, police spokesperson Colonel Brenda Muridili said.

She said police noticed a white VW Polo TSI with fake number plates “scouting the area”. Muridili said police intercepted as the cash-in-transit vehicle drove into the petrol station.

“A shootout and a car chase ensued. Four suspects were apprehended, one of them [sustained] a gunshot wound. The fifth suspect, who was armed, managed to flee the scene on foot. Police are on his trail. Two vehicles were seized, the Polo and a silver BMW.”

Sitole said cash-in-transit robberies threatened the safety of communities.  

“These brazen criminals do not hesitate to shoot their way out when confronted with possible arrest. We will continue to squeeze the space of criminals to zero.”