Cele salutes SAPS for curbing heists

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Police Minister Bheki Cele has commended the South Africa Police Service (SAPS) for stabilising the wave of cash-in-transit heists that swept the country earlier this year.

Between June and 4 November, the National Stabilisation Intervention saw the arrest of 237 cash-in-transit suspects for a series of crimes.

Cele said while significant inroads in breaking the backs of the syndicates involved in CIT robberies, the fight with these criminals was far from over.

“Today I am before you much more confident about the work police are doing on CITs than I was on 4 June this year, given that since then, over 230 cash-in-transit robbers are off our streets,” he said on Tuesday.

The police successes came after National Stabilisation Intervention teams were directed to address CIT heists in Gauteng, North West, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. This was after a sudden upsurge in CIT robberies during April and May this year. During the heists, armoured vehicles were being attacked by robbers with heavy calibre weapons and explosives.

“Through these intervention processes, high profile targets were arrested in these priority provinces and continued SAPS presence in these provinces led to the displacement of crime towards predominantly rural parts of the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and the Western Cape,” said Cele.  

Between 1 April 2018 and 4 November 2018, 118 CITs were recorded across the country. This was a 36% reduction from the 184 cases recorded in the same period in 2017.

In this year’s reporting period, 92 vehicles, 78 firearms and 1 402 rounds of ammunition were recovered. An unconfirmed substantial amount of money was recovered. 

“We can attribute a great deal of these successes to the mobilisation of the 72-hour Activation Plan. This plan entails the maximum mobilisation of resources, including crime intelligence, forensic experts, the Hawks, seasoned detectives and tactical teams for a 72-hour period to ensure that critical information, intelligence and evidence that ensure a breakthrough in investigations is not lost,” he said.

Through crime intelligence multi-disciplinary driven operations, over the past six weeks, Cele said police had arrested suspects while plotting to commit cash-in-transit robberies.

The 30 suspects were arrested in Midrand (12) and Katlehong (seven) in Gauteng, as well as in Riveria Park in Mahikeng (nine) and Brits in the North West. 

A SAPS officer was among the arrested in Brits. During the officer’s arrest, police also recovered a BMW and a Mercedes Benz. In the BMW, which allegedly belongs to the sergeant, police recovered several sets of police uniform, reflector jackets and one handgun with the serial number erased.

“Crime Intelligence continues to combat CIT robberies, stopping robbers in their tracks by arresting robbers before committing these heinous crimes,” Cele said. – SAnews.gov.za