Five foreign nationals among the six arrested in connection with the business robbery and murder of gas cylinder store owner

CRIME

By Agreement Mabunda

POLOKWANE-Police in Lephalale have arrested six suspects including a businessman from Gauteng in connection with the murder of a 61-year-old man during a business robbery that occurred in Marapong on Monday morning 16 October 2023 at about 01h00.

The six suspects aged between 30 and 40, were arrested on the same date at about 12h00,  following an intelligence-led operation comprising members of the Crime Intelligence Unit, Task team, K-9 Unit, and Detectives in collaboration with the Private Security companies.

Preliminary investigation indicates that the five suspects broke into a gas cylinder store and while they were busy stealing the gas cylinders the owner heard some noise and went in the yard to investigate. Upon arrival, he confronted the intruders who in return strangled him and thereafter loaded several gas cylinders into three motor vehicles and then fled the scene.

Police gathered intelligence and information was received that the suspects were driving in a convoy of two trucks and one towed SUV along the R33 road heading towards  Vaalwater and Modimolle. The suspects were cornered following a backup from the local Police. During the arrest, police recovered 70x 9kg gas cylinders valued at over R24 000-00 and 6x 19 kg gas cylinders valued at over R3000-00 loaded. The three vehicles were confiscated as well.

Further investigation revealed that one of the suspects is a businessman from Gauteng and also owns a gas cylinder store.

The Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has hailed the swift reaction of members as well as the excellent coordination that led to the arrest of the suspects and recovery of the stolen items.

“We warn criminals out there that we will never allow our Province to be a playground and the arrest should send a clear message to those who are still contemplating committing crime that they will face the consequences of their actions,” Concluded Lieutenant General Hadebe.

The suspects consisting of five foreign Nationals and one South African will soon appear before the respective Magistrate’s Courts facing charges of business robbery, murder and possession of suspected stolen properties.

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