08 August 2017 Read: 113
Money was left scattered along the R71 near Gravelotte on Tuesday morning following another cash-in-transit heist. A Fidelity cash truck was hit by a group of ten heavily armed suspects. Explosives were used to blow open the back of the truck and gain access to the undisclosed amount of money. None of the crew members were injured. The incident occurred at around 06:30 that morning.
Witnesses say that the suspects were travelling in three German luxury vehicles including a black BMW, a white Mercedes C200 and a white Mercedes ML. It is not certain whether these vehicles were reported stolen prior to the heist.
The Phalaborwa, Hoedspruit and Letsitele Farm Watch was activated and members of the various groups intercepted and followed one of the suspect vehicles as they attempted to make their getaway.
For the next three hours reports were streaming in over the communications system as members radioed in the whereabouts of the vehicle. They followed the suspects towards Hoedspruit, then back through the rural areas towards Phalaborwa, and back again towards Hoedspruit. Police units joined the search in an attempt to close off the various routes and apprehend the group.
The Mercedes then darted back along the R71 towards Namakgale, a township just 10 kilometres outside of Phalaborwa. The vehicle entered the township and continued to travel along its winding backroads until it ultimately disappeared. The search was called off by the Farm Watch after close on four hours and the SAPS tracking team continued.
At the time of going to print no arrests had yet been made and the search for the suspects continued. Bulletin has received information from a source that a house was identified where neighbours stated that the suspect vehicle was noticed the night before. Leads are being followed up.
This latest heist brings the total number of incidents in the Letaba area, to four in as many weeks with no arrests reported in either of these instances. Looking at the images it is worth while noting that there appears to be no dye on the scene. This observation has led to speculation that either the dye packs did not activate, or they were not present at all. Bulletin will follow up on the details.