- Paramedics who received a hoax emergency call were tied up while the ambulance was stripped of parts worth R300 000
- The ambulance was stripped of its gearbox, engine, two tyres and battery by balaclava-clad suspects
- The suspects also took the paramedics' phones away and later returned them to them before fleeing the crime scene
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MPUMALANGA - Paramedics who responded to an emergency call about a pregnant woman in labour were ambushed by two balaclava-clad men. The emergency personnel were held up while their ambulance was stripped of its parts worth R300 000.
The incident occurred at about 9:30pm when the provincial emergency medical services team received the hoax call saying the pregnant woman was at a farm near Belfast on the Spitzkop road. A short while later, another call was received by the medical staff who were informed about a spot to meet.
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Police spokesperson Brig Selvy Mohlala said the medical staff were caught up in an orchestrated robbery which was masked as an emergency call. The paramedics were tied up with cable ties and kept inside the ambulance and had their cellphones taken away, TimesLIVE reported.
The suspects then drove to another location where five more suspects were met and the ambulance was stripped of its gearbox, engine, two tyres and battery. All the stolen items were loaded into another vehicle.
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The suspects later returned their cellphones before fleeing the scene. According to The South African, a manhunt for the suspects is underway and anyone with information is urged to call, the investigating officer, Captain Tobias Mogadime on 071 353 6763 or the Crime Stop number on 08600 10111.
South Africans outraged
Social media users have dubbed Mpumalanga as highly dangerous and came up with theories related to the crime:
Tawily Wily Tsotsotso said:
“Mpumalanga is becoming another country in our country like the other two countries in our country that I won't mention.”
Lonel Fanto wrote:
“Why must public transport or taxis use the same vehicle as ambulances even criminals can print their vehicles like ambulances and do robberies with them.”
Win Ners commented:
“Mpumalanga has overtaken Limpopo and KZN to become one of the most dangerous provinces to live in.”
Unclee TeeKay posted:
“This is easy. Engine and gearbox - they are going to fix one of those long-distance Mercedes Sprinter taxis. Go to taxi ranks around. They know who needs a Mercedes Sprinter engine and gearbox.”
Jonathan Ross added:
“Crime everywhere soon they will rob Cele.”
MJ Lebetsa said:
"Wow a new trend by thieves? Absolutely disgusting."
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In a related matter, Briefly News also reported a motorist was shot and killed on the N4 highway outside Pretoria after he stopped to change a flat tyre on the side of the road on Saturday night, 7 May.
Gauteng police are investigating a case of murder after the man’s body was found inside his vehicle with a gunshot wound. The spokesperson for Gauteng, Colonel Dimakatso Sello, said the Audi vehicle was missing a front tyre and the keys.
Source: Briefly News