Pretoria – Four suspects out the six suspects arrested during a botched business robbery in Epping, Cape Town, have been found to possess extensive criminal histories.

A Hawks investigation has unraveled that the suspects amass more than 52 serious cases with their criminal history spanning over a 15 year period.

The four suspects aged between 53 and 49  years old were allegedly part of a group of six in a foiled business robbery in Epping last week Friday afternoon.  The Hawks received information of a business robbery at Giants Hyper, Benbow Avenue, Epping.

With the assistance from the National Intervention Unit (NIU) members, police managed to foil the lunchtime robbery.  A shoot out ensued between police and the robbers leaving three suspects deceased with one seriously injured.  Two other suspects were detained whilst waiting in their getaway cars.  Four firearms were confiscated on the scene as well as four motor vehicle, one of which was reported stolen in Cape Town.

Meanwhile the four arrested criminal history spans from 1990.  The suspects whose name cannot be named until they appear in court boast the following criminal history:

  • Suspect one aged 42, was linked with more than 26 cases which include amongst business robberies, housebreakings, cash in transit and theft.  He is also suspected to be the mastermind of the jewellery shops robberies in and around the province.
  • Suspect two aged 49, was linked to four cases attempted murder, robbery with firearm, theft and possession of stolen property.
  • Suspect three aged 52 and currently in hospital under police guard, was released on parole in 2014 and is linked to 10 cases which include theft of motor vehicle, robbery with a firearm, possession of unlicensed firearm, drug possession and murder.
  • Suspect four (deceased) aged 53, had two outstanding cases of business robbery and possession of an unlicensed firearm.  Other cases include theft out of motor vehicle, house breaking, perjury and pointing of a firearm.

The National Head of the Directorate For Priority Crime Investigation Lieutenant General Mthandazo Ntlemeza praised all the officers who responded, saying police have “held their ground” in confronting dangerous armed criminals.

“The confrontation has unfortunately ended with the suspects being fatally wounded.  Police have borne serious costs for their bravery and I commend our officers for standing firm, many times in harm’s way, to take on these dangerous criminals head-on,” Ntlemeza said.

Meanwhile, the two out of the three suspects will appear at the Goodwood Magistrate Court on Monday on charges of theft of motor vehicle, possession of unlicensed firearms and attempted business robbery.  The 53 year old suspect will be charged in absentia due to his injuries.  The identities and profiling of the other two deceased suspects is ongoing.