Newcastle factory employee shot by armed robber

A factory employee was shot in the face during an armed robbery in Stephenson Street last Friday morning.

According to a police source, the incident took place at 10.30am.

“The two suspects gained entry to the property by pretending to be delivering goods.”

Unknowingly, the owners of the factory opened the gates and once the men were inside the building, they pulled out their firearms and demanded cash.

As the factory owners were paying their employees wages, the two men managed to escape with approximately R10 000, but before fleeing, one employee was shot in the right cheek.

“The bullet exited behind his ear. He was rushed to Madadeni Provincial Hospital shortly afterwards and is in stable condition,” the source claimed.

After the shooting, the perpetrators fled the property with another employee giving chase, in the hope of capturing them.

They escaped, but dropped the bag with the money they had stolen.

“I was at work when the factory owner’s neighbour sent me a message to inform me of what was happening,” said Jack Zhuang, a factory owner in Edison Street.

Mr Zhuang then made the relevant calls to ensure the police arrived at the scene. While Mr Zhuang commended the police for arriving within minutes, he said it was unfortunate the suspects had escaped so quickly.

“The factory is down the street from mine and when I got there five minutes after receiving the message, I found the employee who was shot, in the back of the factory. The employee who chased the culprits then came to call me and said they had dropped the bag with the money.”

Mr Zhuang was thankful the perpetrators’ escape was caught on CCTV. The footage will be provided to the police.

Chairperson of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Alex Liu thanked Warrant Officer Viren Mahabeer for his rapid response.

“I also want to thank Colonel Michael Mbatha, from Public Order Police (POP), whom I called when I received news of the robbery, and he immediately dispatched more police.”

Praising the police for their quick response, Mr Liu said things could have been more serious if the police had not reacted so quickly.

“One person was shot, but it could have been worse if they did not arrive so soon. We hope the perpetrators are caught soon before they commit another armed robbery,” he concluded.

Quinton Boucher

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