Bank Robbery in Piet Retief

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bank robbery
An early morning scene outside Standard Bank on Monday morning

A staff member of the local Standard Bank was notified by their security company, just after three in the morning on Monday, 23 November, of an attempted bank robbery.

Apparently burglars had gained entrance through the window of the ladies’ cloakroom by breaking both the outer and inner burglar bars at the window. Camera and alarm cables were allegedly pulled from the roof and walls and teller money trolleys were broken. An attempt was made to grind through the wall to gain entry to the safe, but luckily the security team was alert and prepared and six burglars were apparently trapped inside the bank until the police arrived and arrested them. Two burglars were wounded during the incident.

The burglars had been apprehended before anything could be stolen, but a lot of damage had been done inside the bank by then. The forensics team of the SAPS was busy at the scene for quite a time and the K9 dog unit from Secunda was also called in as there had been mention of explosives in the building too. Five of the suspects appeared in court on Tuesday, 24 November, when the case was posponed for bail application to 1 December. The sixth suspect did not appear as he is still in hospital after being wounded. According to the SAPS there were quite a number of business burglaries lately. For at least some ease at heart, employers are urged to make sure that all employees in their service get security clearance every five years. (R95 each at the SAPS). It might even be a good idea to write such a clause into contracts between employer and employee, or to add an amendment to existing contracts. A murder was also reported during the weekend. It seems to have been tavern related and no further information is available at present.

Sadly a worker fell to his death while working on a high building in the Iswepe area. For some or other reason he had unlatched his safety belt and was fatally injured when he fell. Tips for the coming holiday season from the SAPS include that one should not “advertise” when going away. Do not inform employees of your intention of leaving (also not when and for how long you will be away). Make sure that everything is locked properly. Don’t become too comfortable with things as they are, rather be alert and prepared at all times. Keep on checking, for example, that your car is locked when using a remote to do so.

bank robbery
Two burglars had apparently been wounded during the incident