Despite a quick-thinking businessman’s son managing to ram a getaway car moments after his father was robbed outside a bank in Uitenhage yesterday, the robbers managed to get away with R400 000 in a second vehicle.
The crash triggered a chase on foot.
According to police, the liquor store owner, 54, was robbed at gunpoint outside Absa in Caledon Street after his son dropped him off at about 11am yesterday to deposit money.
After grabbing the cash, the suspect jumped into a VW Caddy in the parking area outside the Wild Rapids Spur Steak Ranch opposite the bank, but the son rammed his bakkie into the vehicle.
However, the suspect jumped out of the vehicle and fled up the road with the money and escaped in a second getaway vehicle. Passers-by managed to record some of the drama on cellphones.
The footage shows a young man driving a VW Amarok smashing it head-on into the first getaway vehicle, before the driver of the Caddy jumps out and runs up Caledon Street.
The Caddy was reported hijacked in KwaNobuhle on Tuesday last week.
Police involved in the case confirmed that a bag containing about R400 000 was being taken to the bank by the businessman.
Police spokeswoman Captain Gerda Swart, who declined to name the man and his son, said: “It is suspected that two vehicles followed the business owner to the bank.
“The owner’s son was driving the vehicle and dropped him off outside the bank when a suspect with a firearm struck,” she said.
The suspect threatened the businessman and grabbed the bag of money from him, and ran across the road towards the Caddy.
Swart said the businessman’s son then rammed the front of the Caddy to block the robber from driving off.
As the suspect made a dash for it on foot, the son chased him up Caledon Street, but the man jumped into a red VW Polo which sped off.
Police are investigating a case of armed robbery.
Swart advised business owners to be alert and to take precautions.
“We have had a few such incidents in the Uitenhage area,” she said.
Similar robberies have occurred in Newton Park, North End, Sydenham and Walmer in Port Elizabeth.
“We advise all business owners to alter their routes, days and times of dropping off money,” Swart said.
“When drawing or depositing money, [vary] the routes taken all the time.
“Always check to ensure that you are not being followed and, if possible, use different bank [branches] so that no set pattern can be determined.”