An alleged armed street robber who had been terrorising Lyttelton residents for several weeks was finally nabbed on Sunday.
The man is suspected to have driven the notorious white Hyundai i10 to have perpetrated a string of armed robberies of pedestrians, cyclists and joggers.
Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Johan van Dyk said Lyttelton police and private security companies successfully stopped the alleged robber in his tracks.
“The suspect was arrested during a multi-stakeholder intelligence-driven operation.”
The white Hyundai i10 had been identified as having been used in several armed robberies in and around Lyttelton.
According to Van Dyk, information was received on Sunday around 18:00 that the vehicle had been spotted entering the Highveld residential area.
He said police working with security companies began to search for the vehicle.
“It did not take long for the suspect to be located leaving the suburb via John Vorster Drive. The vehicle was confirmed as being the same as the one used in street robberies, and a swift and direct tactical takedown was executed,” Van Dyk said.
He added that once the driver was contained and secured, the vehicle was searched and an unlicensed firearm and suspected stolen property were discovered.
He said an investigation will continue to determine if the suspect is linked to at least five Centurion cases, and police expect to link him to more as victims come forward.
Van Dyk said at this stage, he will be charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm and dangerous weapons, as well as suspected stolen property and robbery with a firearm.
The arrest was due to the determination and dedication of the Centurion team of crime fighters.
On Friday, February 9, the Lyttelton Sector 1 CPF urged residents to look out for the white Hyundai reportedly used in street robberies in the area.
Acting vice chairperson Heinrich Pretorius said three to four armed suspects are driving around and robbing people at gunpoint.
Pretorius said the vehicle was allegedly involved in the robbery of a group of three.
“Women and teenagers should not be on the street alone and people must avoid holding their phones in public. Rather put it away,” she said.
Pretorius warned people to be cautious of vehicles slowly approaching from behind.
“Quickly turn around and scream while running in the opposite direction,” he advised.
“Also let someone know your route and the time you are expected to return.”
He advised residents to at least go walking with their dogs.
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