About 160 cash-in-transit heists occurred in SA so far this year
Cash-in-transit heists have declined by 61% in a month since the launch of a nationwide police operation.
This is according to police minister Bheki Cele and South Africa's national police commisioner‚ General Khehla Sitole.
Since the operation was implemented at the beginning of June‚ more than 40 suspects have been arrested in connection with the crime‚ Cele and Sitole said in a joint statement on Friday.
Four of the arrested rank among the top 20 suspects wanted for similar crimes.
Besides the arrests‚ a substantial amount of money as well as arms and ammunition have been recovered.
“The number of arrests is a sign of our commitment to the constitutional mandate to uphold and enforce the law on the scourge of cash-in-transit robberies that continue to terrorise our people‚" said Cele.
“Nothing must divert or distract our men in blue from creating a safe and secure environment for all people of South Africa and ensuring criminals are brought to justice.”
Despite the improvement between May and June‚ it is estimated that 160 heists have occurred this year so far.
Sitole said security officers put their lives on the line every day to protect the valuable cargo they transport and must be commended for their efforts.
"We will continue to stamp the authority of the state on our efforts to prevent‚ combat and investigate crime. We will do this without any fear or favour‚" said Sitole.
Police said that in the past week there have been at least five attempted robberies of cash-in-transit vehicles.
The police bosses assured the country that its multidisciplinary investigative task team - comprising members from crime intelligence‚ experienced detectives and specialised tactical teams - is hot on the heels of suspects involved with cash heists.
In addition‚ robbers are becoming less likely to get away with the cash. Without going into details‚ the police chiefs said: “It must be noted that the security interventions both by police and private security are making it nearly impossible for armed robbers to access the cash.”
Robbers in Thursday’s attempted cash-in-transit heist in Atlas Road in Boksburg failed to get any cash.
Four suspects have meanwhile been arrested in connection with the recent heist in Dobsonville‚ Soweto.
Anti-crime campaigner Yusuf Abramjee said on Twitter that four hijacked vehicles were recovered in Thursday’s operation against the Dobsonville attackers‚ adding that one of the suspects is a former security company employee.