Brave off duty police official tackles armed robber
An off-duty police officer’s intervention led to the arrest of a 26-year-old business robbery suspect at Mhluzi Mall near Middleburg, Monday 05 September 2022.
It is said that the alleged robber and his accomplice got into one of the chain stores at Mhluzi Mall and robbed employees of eight cell phones at gunpoint.
Information at the police’s disposal indicates that after the suspects pointed employees with a firearm, they allegedly broke the glass door where mobile phones were kept.
Upon seeing that, the off duty police officer who was at the ATM, left everything he was doing at the time and intervened. It is further said that the alleged robber then pointed the police officer with a firearm, compelling the officer to protect his life where he fired a shot, hitting the suspect on his left hand. As a result, the suspect dropped the firearm and took to his heels. Unfortunately during the squabble, a 32-year-old innocent passer-by also sustained some injuries on his head but was rushed to hospital for medical attention.
Community members pursued and apprehended the suspect who was in possession of a firearm and he was reportedly found still in possession of the suspected stolen mobile phones. It is said that in the process of his apprehension, he sustained some injuries in the hands of community members but was later rescued by a CPF member. Members of the police from Mhluzi were summoned to the scene and the suspect was arrested then taken to hospital for medical treatment as well. He is facing a charge of possession of suspected stolen properties and could possibly be linked to the business robbery. Upon investigation, it was also realised that the suspect’s firearm was a toy gun.
Meanwhile the Independence Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) were notified about the incident and they will conduct their own probe into the shooting. The other suspect, who earlier vanished into thin air during the time when his fellow got arrested, was also cornered and arrested today (06 September 2022) after members of the community informed police that they spotted him in the Mall.
The 22-year-old male suspect was charged with business robbery and is expected to appear in the Middelburg Magistrate’s Court tomorrow, 07 September 2022 alongside the injured suspect who faces the same charges but with an additional charge of possession of suspected stolen properties. Police cannot rule out the possibility of linking the two to other criminal activities committed elsewhere where more charges against them are expected as the investigation continues.
The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has appreciated the commitment displayed by the off-duty member and thanked members of the public for not folding their arms when they saw crime being committed in front of their eyes. “We pride ourselves in the calibre and bravery of police officials like this one who, in the midst of immediate danger, placed his life at risk for the sake of members of the public. Two days back we just honoured men and women in blue who, in the past year paid the ultimate price. This should send a strong message to criminals that the SAPS will continue to dismantle their operations from every corner without fear or favour,” said Lieutenant General Manamela.