A gang of well-known criminals yesterday morning allegedly stormed the Daily Market, a popular grocery shop in Ongwediva, where they roughened up petrified shop attendants and assaulted the shop’s owner before proceeding to empty all the tills of an unspecified but substantial amount of money.
It is alleged the gang showed up at the market just shortly after the owner of the grocery shop opened for business and they apparently ordered all the employees and manager to lie on the floor.
However, the heroics of a customer who chanced on the scene threw their bad intentions askew while prompt action by the police led to their arrest.
Police regional commander Commissioner Rauha Amweele said a customer who had come to do shopping interrupted the gang’s plan.
“They assaulted the customer and also ordered him to lie down and not to leave the shop until they finished collecting all the money,” said the police commissioner.
“But the customer and his passenger followed the gang members’ car and called the police that responded very swiftly, and the gang was chased by both the police and members of the public,” explained Amweele.
Amweele said although the gang fled the scene in a black Volkswagen with Otjiwarongo registration number N10739 OT, the police apprehended them.
The regional police commander said some of these hard-core criminals have pending cases in Oshakati of armed robbery and theft.
“These are our regular customers and are well known in Oshana. Some of them have pending cases with us,” said the commissioner.
Amweele sent out a strong warning to members of the public that if the criminals think they can come and get free money in Oshana, then they are living in a dreamworld because the uniformed men and women in the region are hard at work to make sure such criminals are arrested.
Amweele further said Oshana is not a place for criminals and they will always be arrested.
During the chase they abandoned their black car and fled on foot but they were arrested by armed police officers.
Police recovered money, a safe, cool drinks, recharge vouchers, jackets and a shotgun used in the botched robbery.
The criminals allegedly discarded some of the money in an attempt to destroy the damning evidence.
It was further alleged that members of the public while chasing the criminals picked up the money being thrown away and put it in their own pockets.