A manhunt is under way after a brazen robbery at a police station in which pistols, an R5 rifle and a police vehicle were stolen in the Eastern Cape.
Provincial commissioner Lt-Gen Liziwe Ntshinga set in motion the 72-hour activation plan to catch the culprits after the armed robbery at Moyeni police station in the early hours of Saturday morning in the Amathole District.
“Preliminary investigations revealed that five suspects entered the police station under the pretext that they were looking for help,” said police spokesperson Brig Tembinkosi Kinana.
“As the police officer was getting ready to listen to their problem the suspects held the police officers at gunpoint and took three firearms — an R5 rifle and two 9mm pistols.”
While they were fleeing the scene, the robbers came across another member of the SAPS outside the community service centre who they robbed of a police vehicle. The vehicle was later found abandoned about 2km from the police station.
There suspects are still at large.
“This attack on the police station is viewed very seriously to which we have mobilised maximum resources to track down these robbers,” said Ntshinga.
Police urged the public with information that could lead to the arrest of the suspects to call Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or make contact via the MySAPSApp.
DispatchLIVE reported in September that police stations in the province were under threat of being overrun and robbed of their guns, according to the police and prisons union Popcru.
At least nine stations, mostly in rural areas where there were limited staff on shift, have been raided in recent years.
Popcru provincial chair Loyiso Mdingi warned at the time that criminal assaults on the SAPS in the province were escalating.