'Toy gun' robbers nabbed after hijacking customer during service station heist

The two men allegedly robbed the Sasol service station at Fig Tree on Sunday night and forced a teenager to aid in their escape.

File picture.
File picture.
Image: Gareth Wilson

Two men who robbed the Sasol garage at Fig Tree on Sunday night before kidnapping a customer – all with a toy gun - were arrested while speeding away in a Mercedes-Benz.

The robbery happened at about 10.20pm when two men entered the store asking for a plastic packet.

Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said that the men entered the store asking for a plastic packet.

“The cashier went to get a packet and when she returned the one suspect pointed a firearm at her. He then demanded that she open the cash registers and put all the money into the packet. After placing the money in the bag, the other suspect grabbed an 18-year-old customer at gunpoint and forced him into the Mercedes-Benz which was parked outside,” she said.

“The car then sped off and the cashier pressed her panic button. Less than  50 metres from the service station in Circular Drive, the car stopped and the men ordered the driver out and into the back seat. He was so nervous he could not drive."

Naidu said that as the teenager got out of the driver's seat, he managed to escape and run away.

“The suspects then sped off with his car towards Walmer. By that stage security and police had been given the details of the hijacked car and were combing the area looking for it,” she said.

“Within 10 minutes of the robbery, security officials spotted the car at the intersection of Victoria Drive and Buffelsfontein Road in Walmer. The car was then boxed in and forced to stop.”

Naidu said that the teenager, who lives in Charlo, had gone to the store in his mother's Mercedes to get something to eat when he was robbed.

Naidu said the suspects, 26 and 28-yearsold, were caught red-handed inside the car, with a toy guy and the stolen money.

Both men will appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Wednesday for a string of charges from hijacking and kidnapping, to armed robbery.

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