A gang of 15 suspects stole four firearms and shot at a cash-in-transit van in a brazen daylight robbery in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday morning.
The gang, some of whom were armed with firearms and hammers, ambushed the SBV armoured van and its escort vehicle shortly after 7am outside the Big Ways Shopping Centre at the corner of Bafana Street and Johnson Road in Zwide.
The robbery appears to have been an ambush during a drop-off to replenish cash in an ATM at the centre.
“As the escort car and van stopped outside the centre, the group attacked them from all directions,” said an official, who declined to be named.
“The driver of the escort car was pulled out of the vehicle and his firearm taken, while the other suspects accosted the three guards in the [cash-in-transit] van as they were getting out.
“One guard was assaulted with what appears to be a hammer, while all the guards were disarmed of three 9mm firearms and a LM rifle.”
The official added that during the confrontation, the guards managed to jump into the cash-in-transit van and flee. “As they were driving away, the suspects fired several shots at the van to stop.”
The guards sped off to Kwazakhele police station for assistance.
Officials confirmed that while none of the guards were shot, all had been assaulted and were traumatised by the attack.
Police spokesperson Captain Andre Beetge said a statement would be released later.
BY GARETH WILSON