Saturday, May 28, 2022

Gun totting gang steals cash after raiding Barclays’ Phikwe branch

Selibe Phikwe police are investigating a case in which an unknown gun-wielding gang on Wednesday raided the town’s Barclays Bank Prestige branch, making off with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Selibe Phikwe Police Station Commander, Superintendent Victor Nlebesi, told the Sunday Standard that the gang is still at large. He said the robbery took place just before 5pm, as bank trading hours closed. Investigations are ongoing, with no indication of how much cash the Barclays branch lost.

Nlebesi said the gang of men, reportedly brandishing guns, ordered customers and bank employers to lie on the floor as they ransacked the bank for cash. Other customers, who were just outside, were pushed into the bank by the robbers.

“We do not have the total number of the gang that robbed the bank yet but three of them were by the scene,” he said.

For security reasons while investigations continue, Nlebesi declined to reveal what condition the bank’s surveillance equipment was in during the robbery. However, he said the bank was closed for security reasons immediately after the incident. The suspects made off in an unknown vehicle.
Nobody was hurt during the robbery. Two days after the incident, police were still groping in the dark.

“We are still looking for the suspected robbers who broke into the Prestige Bank…we have no clue as to their whereabouts,” Nlebesi said.

The Selibe Phikwe Station Commander advised that it is high time business people became vigilant and intensified their security measures, adding that they should always treat each client with caution. “We as the police are doing our best to protect the public,” he said.

Nlebesi said Botswana Police has always given the criminal justice system’s efficiency top priority, but expressed concern over the country’s rising crime rate.

“I am appealing to the public to help us with information which could lead to the arrest of the other suspects,” he said. “People should be on the lookout for people who spend lavishly or any suspicious organized groups of people or motorists,” he said.

Meanwhile, in what could be regarded as a breakthrough on Friday, police said that they had captured the three suspected robbers after a 45-minute chase.

Two pistols and fourteen live rounds of ammunition, together with part of the money, were found in their possession on arrest. However, some of the money involved is still missing.
The trio of Noxam Ndlovu (36), Patrick Mpala (42) and William Ncube (44) was last Friday arraigned before the Selibe-Phikwe Magistrate Court, charged with two counts of armed robbery and illegal possession of arms of war.

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