Gunmen shoot at police during PE Boxer Superstores robbery
A gang of gunmen, some armed with assault rifles, shot at police during a robbery at the Boxer Superstores in Motherwell on Sunday.
The robbery took place at about 4pm while the store in Ngonyama Street, Motherwell, was in the process of closing.
A patrolling police van came across the robbery while they were doing routine patrols.
Police spokesman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said the gunmen arrived at the store in two bakkies.
“A gang of between seven and ten gunmen then ushered the security guards back into the store. At that stage the security gates were half-closed to allow for the last customers to leave,” she said.
“Some of the gunmen forced the guards into the store while a few more gunmen remained outside. At least one of the men outside was armed with an assault rifle.”
While the robbery was underway, a patrolling police van turned into the car park.
“At that stage the police did not know the robbery was happening. The suspect with an assault rifle started shooting at the police van. At that time, the remaining robbers had exited the shop and were jumping onto the bakkies,” Naidu said.
Naidu confirmed that the police officials, who were caught off guard, did not return fire.
“During the shooting, the police managed to do a U-turn, while calling for backup. During this process the suspects fled in the two bakkies. The patrol van was, however, hit by a bullet. Spent assault rifle cartridges were found on the scene,” she said.
Naidu said the gunmen managed to take the money in the cash registers before fleeing.
No one was injured during the robbery.
Motherwell cluster commander Major General Dawie Rabie cautioned businesses to be extra-vigilante during closing ime, particularly over weekends.
“Security guards need to remain vigilant. If the alarm can be raised and a store goes into lockdown before the suspects gain entry, it would greatly assist,” he said.
Rabie said a team of detectives were working around the clock to track down and arrest the culprits.
A case of attempted murder of police officials as well as armed robbery is under investigation.