Gun store robbers have been arrested


SCENE OF THE CRIME: Police and security personnel gathered at the Gidana Arms and Sports store at the corner of Bank Lane and Pascoe Crescent last Thursday after the store was robbed of weapons and ammunition Picture: JON HOUZET

Bank Lane in Port Alfred, a main arterial road between the CBD and Nemato, was closed off last Thursday by police and security companies as SAPS investigated a robbery at the Gidana Arms and Sports store on the corner of Bank Lane and Pascoe Crescent.

According to a police report, the robbers walked away with a camouflage bag from the store containing shotguns, rifles and handguns.

Municipal workers, along with others, stood waiting to hear what had been stolen but police remained closed-mouthed regarding the incident. Shortly thereafter SAPS spokeswoman Captain Mali Govender issued a statement.

“At about 11am [October 18] one male suspect approached a firearm dealer [Gidana Arms and Sports] store where the owner’s daughter was alone.  He posed as customers wanting to purchase an item of clothing and left it on the counter. He then walked outside and came back with another male who showed her a firearm and she was asked for the keys to the safe.

“They took the keys from the till and opened the safe. They then took a camo bag from the store and put several shotguns, rifles and handguns inside. They then left her in the strong room and closed it. They then left the store on foot. The victim’s cell phone was taken. Different types of ammunition were also taken,” she said.

Both suspects were described as black, one short and estimated to be in his 50s with a fair complexion, dressed in a white shirt, black tie and formal pants as well as a peak cap, and the other slender and tall with a dark complexion, wearing a black jersey, black track pants and was estimated to be in his late twenties. The firearm was carried by the neatly dressed suspect.

“Two other assistants, who were away from the store, contacted the owner and the police. A case of aggravated robbery is under investigation. No shots were fired and no one was injured,” Govender said.

Govender was contacted for more information this week but was unable to supply anything as she said the case was being handled by the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation, also known as the Hawks. At this time the DPIC were unable to answer requests for more information.

Govender asked that, anyone with information on this crime contact Crime Stop on 086-001-0111 or else, for enquiries, contact her on 082-779-7123. So far, no arrests have been made and no weapons have been recovered.

Update from the Daily Dispatch web site:

Five suspects arrested for a robbery at a Port Alfred gunshop will appear in court in Port Elizabeth on Friday [today].

Hawks spokesperson, Captain Lloyd Ramovha, said they were arrested in different parts of Zwide Township this week following a tip-off.

He said the stolen firearms were recovered.

More than 50 weapons, including rifles, shotguns, and handguns were stolen during the brazen robbery on the 18 October in which ammunition was also taken.

Ramovha said the suspects face charges of being in the possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.

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