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Suspect’s head blown off during cash-in-transit heist

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – The head of a suspected cash- in- transit robber was blown off during a robbery on the West Rand on Wednesday.

Police spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe said members of the Bekkersdal police station came under heavy fire when they approached the heist in progress on the R28 Main Reef Road in Mohlakeng, Randfontein.

“The members were ferrying awaiting-trial prisoners when they were shot at by a group of men sitting behind a white Ford Ranger. Members and awaiting-trial prisoners were not injured during the ordeal.

“At the scene, police found the G4S cash van had already been bombed. Next to the cash van was the body of a man, who preliminary investigations suggest was a suspect, and that his head may have been blown off during one of the explosions.”

Mathe said a burnt-out BMW 3-series was also found on the scene and it has been established it was stolen in Kagiso last month.

Mathe told The Star police have noticed a trend that stolen vehicles were often used in the commission of cash-in-transit heists.

“In most of the cases, we find that stolen or hijacked vehicles are often used in the commission of these crimes.

“Of late, we are seeing a trend where the vehicles are being used to ram into the cash van to force it to come to a halt. We are also warning members of the public against a tendency of the public to pick up money scattered at cash-in-transit crime scenes.”

She further warned members of the public from going near cash vans as there might be undetonated explosives.

“Cash-in-transit heist scenes can often be dangerous, particularly when explosives are used in such robberies. It is for this reason that we warn members of the community that in some instances it is possible not all explosives are detonated at the time when the robbery was committed. This, therefore, poses a risk for the detonator to explode in their presence, thereby posing a risk for the loss of life. Like we have seen today, a suspect lost his life due a detonator exploding in his presence,” Mathe said.

Police are appealing to members of the public, especially around Soweto, to be on the lookout for a white single-cab Ford Ranger and silver BMW as both vehicles were used as getaway vehicles by suspects who fled the heist scene with an undisclosed amount of money.

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