SAPS high-density multidisciplinary stabilisation team on Cash-In-Transit (CIT) heists has nabbed 23 suspects this past week, the police said on Monday.
The team, which consists of members from crime intelligence, seasoned investigators from the Hawks and SAPS detectives, tactical teams such as the task force, tracing teams, the National Intervention Unit and the Tactical Response, has also managed to stabilise these robberies by with over 60% in the month of May.
The CIT robberies have been on the increase these past few months in the country with Gauteng alone reporting 96 cash-in-transit cases from January to May.
On Friday, the team, acting on intelligence, arrested two suspects, a 32-year-old man and his girlfriend, for the May Boksburg CIT robbery where two armoured vehicles were targeted.
The girlfriend, a Tshwane Metro Police Officer, is alleged to have been storing the weapons that were used during the attack of two CIT vehicles in Boksburg.
And during the arrest, the team recovered one rifle, magazines and several rounds of ammunition, as well as a Toyota Quantum which is believed to have been a cash purchase.
The police said the suspect is linked to several CIT robberies in the country.
The team went on to arrest a 42-year-old illegal immigrant at a residential estate in Wonderboom.
The suspect, who is linked to the May Boksburg CIT heist, was found in possession of explosives including detonators and blasting cartridges.
In a parallel operation, two women, a 67 and a 33-year-old as well as a 50-year-old man were arrested in Shoshanguve in connection with the attempted robbery on a CIT vehicle in Atlas Road in Boksburg, last week.
The 50-year-old suspect has also been linked to several CIT robberies in the country, including the Boksburg incident.
The team also recovered one x R5 rifle, one x LM5 and over 100 rounds of ammunition.
According to the police, during the attempted CIT robbery, one suspect was fatally wounded and a rifle, pistol and several rounds of ammunition were confiscated at the scene.
Six suspects were also arrested during a parallel operation for the cross pavement robbery that occurred at a liquor store in Hammanskraal on Monday.
During the arrests, eight various kinds of firearms and ammunitions were seized.
There are eight more suspects arrested in connection with the Dobsonville attempted robbery that took place on Wednesday. Police confiscated four hijacked vehicles.
While in Kliptown, Soweto, three suspects were arrested for possession of unlicensed firearms. Two firearms and ammunition as well a car were seized.
The National Commissioner of Police General Khehla Sitole on Monday said although they are making inroads, there is still a long way to go.
However, he was confident that the stabilisation operations are turning the tide against this particular crime category.
“In order for the police to stamp the authority of the State, we need to continue arresting individuals that commit aggravated robberies, crimes like CIT heists and hijackings instil fear in the inhabitants of this country.
“We will, following these stabilisation operations, follow with a normalisation plan to ensure the people in South Africa are and feel safe,” said Sitole.
Suspects will appear in various courts in Gauteng province this week facing charges of attempted murder, armed robbery, attempted armed robbery, possession of illegal firearms and ammunition and/or suspected stolen vehicles.