Two ATMs bombed in Free State

ATM. Image courtesy: stock.xchng

Two ATMs have been bombed in the Free State since Tuesday, police said.

A gang of 15 people bombed an ATM in Welkom on Friday, said Captain Stephen Thakeng. The gang, armed with automatic rifles, arrived at the Standard Bank ATM in Bok Street at 3.28am in a white Mercedes-Benz and a Toyota Yaris, said Captain Stephen Thakeng. They used an explosive device to bomb the ATM and took cash.

“While this incident was happening, about 25 metres from the scene of the explosion, a silver Toyota Corolla and a black and maroon Toyota Venture were shot at, but nobody sustained any injuries but there were damages on the vehicles in question,” said Thakeng.

The bombers fled. Five R5 rifle cartridges were later found at the scene, he said.

The bombing followed a similar attack in Odendaalsrus at 1.50am on Tuesday, when four people armed with automatic rifles arrived at a petrol station in Kutloanong in a white Mercedes-Benz arrived and held up petrol attendants.

“An undisclosed amount of cash was robbed. Then, the four suspects walked towards an ATM, explosive devices were used to bomb it, and cash was also stolen,” said Thakeng. The robbers fled in the car.

Thakeng said a manhunt had been launched.

“Residents are advised not to arrest the suspects on their own but instead contact the nearest police,” he said.

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