Suspect shot as robbers terrify customers

GUNNED DOWN: One of the Barnetts store robbery suspects is taken to hospital after he was shot while allegedly threatening a woman with a knife. Picture: JUDY DE VEGA

Estelle Ellis

FIVE men and an employee of furniture and appliance store Barnetts near Pier 14 in North End were arrested late yesterday afternoon after customers were terrorised and robbed inside the store.

Port Elizabeth’s Warrant Officer Alwin Labans said at about 4.45pm, shortly before closing time, three men entered the chain store – on the corner of Govan Mbeki and Charlotte Street – armed with knives.

“They robbed two customers of their wallets and cellphones. Some customers ran out the store screaming,” Labans said.

Mount Road Crime Prevention Unit members were patrolling in the area and heard the screams.

“When the police arrived at the store, a man was threatening one customer with a knife. A police officer shot him in the neck. The suspect has been hospitalised in a serious condition,” Labans said.

Two other men were arrested on the scene. The three suspects are all in their early 20’s.

“A woman employee of Barnetts, was also arrested at the store,” he said.

Police found the robbers’ getaway vehicle in a street behind Barnetts and arrested the driver, 28, as well, Labans said.

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