Armed robbery leads to ambush outside Uitenhage bar

Response officer's gun stolen

An armed response guard was ambushed outside a Uitenhage sports bar moments after three robbers held staff hostage.

According to authorities, the armed response officer reacted to a panic alarm at the Hotspot bar in Graaff-Reinet Road, Uitenhage at about 3am on Sunday.

Police spokeswoman Captain Gerda Swart said staff were held at gunpoint during the robbery.  

Swart said: “A woman was cashing up the night's takings when three men with firearms entered the bar.

"The front door was closed but not locked. The suspects held her and some other workers at gunpoint while demanding money from the till.

"The men then grabbed the money and cellphones from the staff,” she said.

"While this was in progress, one of the staff members managed to press the panic button. However, when the armed response officer arrived, he was  also held at gunpoint.”

Atlas Security operations manager Monty Montgomery said when his response officer arrived in the car park, he came across a woman standing outside crying.

“He saw a woman crying at the front door. As he stopped the car, two men ran up to him on either side.

"Both men had firearms and pointed them at him while demanding he hand over his firearm. They said they would not hurt him if he surrendered, which he did.

“They took him out of the response car, marched him into the premises at gunpoint before telling him to go down on his knees and lie on the ground while the other suspects stole the money and cellphones," Montgomery explained. 

He added that when the men fled, they threw the response officer's hand radio and car keys on the ground.

“There was a getaway quantum minibus parked on the road outside the car park. They all jumped into the minibus and took off.”

It is suspected that the robbers were waiting to ambush the armed response officer, who they knew would arrive while the robbery was taking place.

"I suspect they wanted to take his firearm," Montgomery said. 

A case of armed robbery is under investigation.