By line: Kelebogile Masemola

22 February 2022

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has gladly welcomed the arrest of three male suspects, aged between 27 and 40 at Ermelo today,

Tuesday 22 February 2022. The trio is alleged to have been involved in a business robbery incident which was carried out at Volksrust earlier today.

The arrest of the trio stems from a traumatic scene in which a group of armed suspects stormed into a certain furniture store earlier in the morning around 09h00 am where one of the suspects pretended as a customer.

They then held the employees hostage. It is further reported that the staff members were tied up with some cords as well as locked inside a certain room in the said store.

Whilst the incident was unfolding, one member of the public became aware of what was happening and the person immediately alerted the authorities.

The suspects are said to have then helped themselves with some items, including microwaves, laptops, as well as flat screen TV sets.

The suspects fled the scene thereafter with the robbed items, using a Mercedes-Benz Vito and a Nissan NP200 bakkie. The suspects reportedly took the direction of Ermelo.

A case of business robbery was opened accordingly with a launch of manhunt for the suspects.

The collaboration between police and the security companies, particularly the Anti Crime Security Unit (ACSU) in this case has proven to be effective as the suspects were pursued by the said guards from ACSU and were cornered near Ermelo.

It is said that two of the suspects were reportedly arrested whilst driving with the robbed Mercedes Benz Vito along the N11 Road, between Amersfoort and Ermelo.

Some of the suspected stolen items, including microwaves, laptops as well as flat screen TV sets were found inside the said vehicle. The items as well as the vehicle were seized.

As the collaborative team was busy searching for the suspects, members from the Detective Branch in Ermelo spotted the Nissan NP200 occupied by some suspects.

The astute members then brought the vehicle to its halt however by the time its driver stopped, some of the suspects had already jumped off from the car where they fled and evaded the arrest.

The driver was then arrested and charged as such.

Police are still in search for the outstanding suspects and urge anyone with information on their whereabouts to call the Crime Stop number on 0860010111 or send information via MYSAPSAPP.

All received information will be treated as confidential and callers may opt to remain anonymous.

The suspects are expected to appear before court soon, facing charges of being in possession of suspected stolen property.

Police cannot rule out the possibility of linking the three suspects to the said business robbery as well as other crimes committed elsewhere.

Police are proceeding with their investigation.