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Tuesday, 17 March 2009

dramatic shoot-out Ringleader violent gang of Pretoria robbers linked to more than 30 robberies and hijackings across the city was killed on Monday

Ringleader of a violent gang of Pretoria robbers linked to more than 30 robberies and hijackings across the city was killed on Monday after a dramatic shoot-out.
The gang's eight-month crime spree across Gauteng and Mpumalanga was brought to a bloody end when detectives from the Temba Trio Task Team, following up on information given through tip-offs, shot and critically injured the ringleader and arrested two other members.The arrests brought the number of suspects arrested to three. In February police arrested one of the alleged gang members in Rietgat.Detectives discovered the whereabouts of the 35-year-old ring leader and his two accomplices while investigating the hijacking and rape of two Hammanskraal women and the attack of a Temba resident. 'We are hoping to catch those police officers who are supplying the gang with weapons' The gang had also attacked two Soshanguve residents, two Akasia businesses and another in Temba.All the attacks took place within six hours of each other.As officers encircled the suspects' hide-out in Temba, police ordered the men to surrender and opened fire when the ringleader shot at officers as he fled.The gunman was shot repeatedly in the head, chest and stomach. His two alleged accomplices were arrested after they surrendered.The gang, which has between eight and 10 members, is believed to have been using the house as a hide-out for several months.The remaining gang members, who are thought to include police officers, were away at the time of the shooting. Police recovered a state-issued firearm from the injured suspect who later died of his injuries.Information from police sources is that the gang consists of a number of crooked police officers, who allegedly supplied the syndicate with weapons.The gang then used the weapons to commit crimes, posing as members of the police force.The ringleader, according to police spokesperson Inspector Lolo Mangena, was one of the most wanted suspects in both Gauteng and Mpumalanga. "I can confirm that the 35-year-old man was one of the most wanted suspects in Pretoria and Mpumalanga," he said.He added that the gang was linked to crimes in Akasia, Temba, Ga-Rankuwa, Soshanguve, Rietgat, Hammanskraal, KwaMahlanga and Mpumalanga.Mangena said the man's accomplices, who were aged between 18 and 20, were arrested inside the house after they had surrendered.He said police had located the three after following up on information on the gang's violent spree, which resulted in two women being raped, three businesses robbed, a motorist hijacked and three homeowners attacked in their houses.
He confirmed that detectives were investigating the involvement of rogue police officers in supplying the gang with guns."I say this because we have recovered a police-issued Z88 9mm pistol. Officers are currently searching for more state guns, such as R5 semi-automatic assault rifles, which the gang had allegedly stashed at their other hide-outs," he said.Mangena said follow-up investigations led to police recovering two Norinco pistols with their serial numbers filed off, as well as a 9mm Beretta and five rounds of ammunition at the gang's different hide-outs in Temba and Hammanskraal."As well as recovering the guns, police also recovered groceries, which were stolen during the business robbery in Temba," he said. He said more arrests were expected soon."We are hoping to catch those police officers who are supplying the gang with weapons."Mangena said the remaining suspects would be appearing in court tomorrow on charges of house robbery, business robbery and hijacking.


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