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Joint SAPS effort nets Jo'burg criminal gang


In a time of on-going violence and criminal attacks across Mpumalanga, It’s always good news to report that the criminals are not having it all their own way in the Machadodorp and Waterval Boven area. Recently, a joint operation involving SAPS officers from Boven, Machado and Dullstroom resulted in the capture of six armed criminals who had, in broad daylight, just attacked the farm of a local resident, located on the Elandsfontein road close to the Schoemanskloof section of the N4.
The farmer, who was completing deliveries in Boven at the time of the attack whilst two of his employees were held up at gunpoint and tied up with cable ties by the attackers. Having subdued the employees, the criminals then proceeded to ransack the farm, stealing a variety of household goods and a .32 calibre revolver with ammunition, which was all loaded into the farm-owner’s white Colt bakkie, in which they then made their escape. What the criminals could not have known, however, and which ultimately proved to be their undoing, was that there was virtually no fuel in their getaway bakkie! Barely 600m. away from the scene of their crime, the bakkie ran out of fuel – forcing two of the gang members to take a fuel can and start walking in search of enough go-juice to make good their escape.


Unfortunately for the grumpy footsloggers, a neighbour noticed them and also recognised the farm-owner’s bakkie at the side of the road. He immediately called his neighbour and alerted him that something was amiss. One thing led to another, the delivery route was abandoned, Boven police officers were alerted and the farmer set off for home with two police vehicles hot on his heels. In the interim, the farmer’s wife had also managed to alert the Machado SAPS and they also responded to the scene at a rate of knots – with a unit from Dullstroom acting as a “blocker” on the Dullstroom dirt road. Short, sharp, sweet, the criminals in the bakkie were quickly in handcuffs, the other three in an unlicensed and unregistered white Golf – whose “city-slicker” low profile tyres and fancy mag wheels had quickly bogged down in the wet and muddy conditions – were also cooling their heels in the back of an SAPS van. In quick order, all six criminals, aged between 23 and 36, their vehicle, and all the items stolen had been captured and recovered in a resoundingly successful operation.


Given the fact the hapless farmer and his home have repeatedly fallen prey to criminals in recent months, it is no small victory, at last, to have had some success in bringing criminals to book. In a telephonic interview with THG, W.O. Mahlangu of the Machado SAPS confirmed that the six suspects were currently in custody and were facing charges (among others) of house-breaking, armed robbery, vehicle theft and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. What is worthy of mention and should be noted by all THG readers is that the criminals were NOT local – they, in fact, hailed from Orange Farm in Gauteng and had travelled to the area with the express purpose of committing crimes locally. They were however – according to the farmer, accompanied by an ex-employee who had last worked for him in 2009. The ex-employee is one of those arrested.

 

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