Armed Thugs in City Centre Drama

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By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK THERE were moments of high drama in downtown Windhoek yesterday morning when a group of policemen on routine patrol foiled an armed robbery targeting AfriCash Quick Loan at the Old Mutual Arcade along Independence Avenue. It appears armed robberies are on the increase this time of the year, with robbers targeting business entities for a cash bonanza to spend over the festive season. Recently, two armed thugs were gunned down at a supermarket in Katutura during a shootout with members of the police who arrived at a scene of an armed robbery. Yesterday, crowds of on-lookers witnessed how the police foiled the robbery. Members of the Special Field Force (SFF) and police were present at the scene of the attempted robbery shortly after it occurred. The incident that resulted in security force members chasing after the thugs who fled through a back door without some burglar bars, resulted in shots being fired towards the fleeing criminals who were reportedly smartly dressed. Police spokesperson Chief Inspector Angula Amulungu who was also at the crime scene said “four well dressed men” entered the cash loan of-fice “just like ordinary clients”. The suspects then held the people inside the building at gunpoint, tied them up and relieved them of cash and other valuables in their possession. They however failed to break into the safe in the cash loan office, as the police promptly interrupted the robbery attempt after being alerted. However, Amulungu said no arrest could be made as all four suspects managed to escape through the back window that is not burglar proof. Some eyewitnesses confirmed that one woman was allegedly pistol-whipped in the face and was subsequently rushed to a local hospital with a broken nose. Looking rather shaken by the robbery attempt, the owner of Lida Dry Cleaners and Laundry said that she heard two shots being fired by police officers as they chased after the four suspects, who were said to be well-dressed and armed.