'Sick' security guards held after heist
Probe into possible link to earlier Ncgobo robbery
Two Eastern Cape SBV Services security guards on “sick leave” were arrested for allegedly robbing a Fidelity Security Group van of an undisclosed amount of money in Whittlesea at the weekend.
The two, with a third alleged accomplice – a security guard at Komga Alarms outside East London – were shot and wounded during an exchange of gunfire with the Fidelity guards on Friday afternoon.
A bystander and a Fidelity guard were also shot and wounded during the attack, said Komani police spokesperson Captain Namhla Mdleleni.
Mdleleni confirmed that the three, aged between 28 and 31, pounced on the Fidelity guards while they were loading cash into a First National Bank ATM in Whittlesea.
Mdleleni said the suspects would appear in the Whittlesea magistrate’s court for armed robbery and attempted murder on Monday.
Mdleleni said the suspects allegedly used an R5 assault rifle and a 9mm parabellum to disarm a security guard of his work R5 and robbed the guards of the cash – which they later dumped during the gunfight.
“The firearms will be sent for ballistic testing to see if they cant be linked to other crimes,” she said.
Komga Alarms owner Denis Taulic said while the criminal case was ongoing against his staffer, who had only been with the company for a year, they would also take internal disciplinary action against him.
“The law must be more severe than for a normal person. It is very disappointing to learn this, but I guess corruption and greed creeps in all over,” he told the Daily Dispatch on Sunday.
One of the SBV guards is the brother of the Komga Alarms guard.
SBV is based in East London.
Contacted for comment, SBV spokesperson Flavia Decillia said the investigation was at a sensitive stage.
“We cannot provide any details at the moment as an investigation is under way,” she said.
Fidelity Komani branch manager Thomas Dickerson who described the incident as a success story for Fidelity, referred the questions to the company’s head office.
Head of assets-in-transit Johan Pretorius referred the Dispatch to the company’s spokesperson Cathy Jackson, but Jackson could not be reached on Sunday.
A report on the incident, circulated among SBV staff and which the Dispatch has seen, read that one of the guards from the company sustained a gunshot wound on his lower right arm and his 31-year-old Komga Alarms brother was shot in the right buttock.
The second SBV guard, aged 28, took bullets in the left arm and left leg. The message also alleges that a provisional intelligence report had revealed that one of their guards had also been linked to an earlier robbery of a Fidelity van in Ncgobo in November.
The leaked report details that an R5 assault rifle, one magazine with 33 rounds and a 9mm parabellum with one empty magazine were recovered at the scene. A white Nissan Micra rental vehicle was used in the crime.
The report said: “According to provisional intelligence reports, two of our East London employees, who are on sick leave, were involved in this Fidelity Cash Services [Security Group] robbery.
“[We are] awaiting further confirmation. [One] has [allegedly] also been linked to Fidelity Cash Services robbery in Ncgobo last month.”
Mdleleni said the incident happened after 5pm on Friday. The suspects disarmed one of the guards and grabbed a cash trunk before fleeing the area. Mdleleni said the guards gave chase and an exchange of gunfire erupted.
“Police were summoned and suspects were chased and all three were arrested.
“A case of armed robbery and attempted murder was opened and suspects will appear before Whittlesea magistrate’s court on Monday.”
Eastern Cape provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga commended the police for the arrest.
The robbery comes months after cash-in-transit guards embarked on a national protest demanding that police crack down on heists that have claimed more than 100 lives in 2018 alone..