Friday, June 14, 2024

Gang responsible for online shopping robberies arrested

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A gang responsible for online shopping robberies in Tshwane has been arrested.

According to police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Mavela Masondo, the suspects were about to rob a man whom they had lured by advertising a truck for sale on Facebook Marketplace.

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The Gauteng police crime intelligence team received a tip-off about a man about to be robbed after he responded to a Facebook advert of a truck on sale. 

He said a team comprising of members from Gauteng Highway Patrol Unit and Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) was mobilised to takedown the suspects.

“The team kept close observation and noticed the unsuspecting buyer meeting with the suspects.” 

Masondo added as the team approached, the suspects started firing shots at the police officers, who responded by shooting back. 

“A shootout between the police and a gang resulted in the arrest of 11 suspects on Friday. 

“One suspect was shot and injured, while ten other suspects were arrested without injuries.” 

 Police recovered two unlicensed firearms and ammunition from the suspects. 

Gauteng Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Tommy Mthombeni expressed his gratitude to the police officers for their excellent work in apprehending the criminals responsible for robberies that have been going on in Winterveld.

Police would like to warn community members against bogus online advertisers who continue to rob unsuspecting buyers. 

The following basic safety tips should always be considered before buying or selling online: 

  • Avoid communicating with buyers or sellers outside Facebook as possible as you can,
  • Don’t share your personal information such as banking details or physical address;
  • If you are meeting a buyer or seller in person, arrange to meet in a public and well-lit area or at the nearest police station;
  • Do more research on the buyer or seller by visiting their private Facebook profile, a ‘red flag’ is raised when his or her profile was only recently created.

Any criminal activities can be reported at the nearest police station or via the Crime Stop Line at 08600 10111.

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