Monday, 15 March 2010

Suspects held for attacks in city and on farm

By Graeme Hosken

Crime Reporter

Four suspects linked to the attempted murder of a Pretoria farmer's wife and the murder of a city-based financial consultant, who was shot dead while trying to save his family, were arrested on Monday morning.

The men, who are now being profiled to see if they can be linked to any other crimes, were caught after police from the Mamelodi Trio Task Team received a tip-off on their whereabouts from an informant over the weekend.

Together with police officers from the Hawks and the Gauteng Rapid Response Unit, the Trio Task Team detectives began tracing the suspects and watching their hideouts.

The five-hour operation, which began at 7am, saw police, who are expecting to make more arrests, raiding several shacks and flats in Mamelodi and Pretoria Central in search of the suspects.

During the raids, some of which are believed to have been carried out simultaneously to prevent the suspects from alerting each other, police seized an unlicensed pistol.

The gun, according to sources, is believed to have been used in the murder of a Mr Schutter, 41, who was shot dead in his double-storey Leopard's Rock security estate home in Equestria last month as he tried to fight off the attackers.

His girlfriend and 17-year-old daughter, who police declined to name, tried in vain to save him. His attackers, who are believed to have been wearing clothes similar to those of security guards, made off with the family's valuables.

The murder came less than two weeks after a farmer's wife was shot in the arm in an attack on her Rayton farm on January 29.

In both attacks the gunmen escaped with valuables such as cellphones, money and household electrical appliances.

A police source said the suspects, aged between 28 and 35, were caught in flats in Pretoria Central and in shacks in Mamelodi East's S and S Section.

Police spokesperson Inspector Ben Strydom confirmed the arrests and said more were expected.

He declined to comment any further on the investigation.


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