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NewsMedical staff held hostage, ambulance stripped

Medical staff held hostage, ambulance stripped
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SUSPECTS STRIPS AN AMBULANCE AND HELD MEDICAL STAFF HOSTAGE

Nelspruit: 16 May 2022 – The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has strongly condemned an incident in which an ambulance was allegedly stripped and the medical personnel reportedly held hostage by a group of suspects. The shocking incident is said to have taken place on the evening of yesterday, Sunday 15 May 2022 in Belfast.

It is reported that on the said day, the Emergency Medical Services received a strange call about a woman who was in labour (giving birth) at a farm near Belfast on the Spitzkop Road road. 

An ambulance, a VW Crafter was then dispatched to attend. At around 21h30, it is said that a follow-up call was received by the paramedics whereby the caller requested to meet with the medical staff at a certain spot for the direction to the scene. Little did the medical staff know that this was an orchestrated robbery which was paraded as an emergency call. 

Also read: Human Trafficking, Suspect remanded in custody

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As the ambulance arrived at the place mentioned by the caller, two males wearing balaclavas which covered their faces are said to have then emerged. The suspects allegedly held them hostage and took their cell phones from them before they tied them up with cable ties but kept them inside the ambulance. The said ambulance was reportedly driven to another place where five more suspects were noticed.

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It is further reported that the suspects allegedly stripped the vehicle of its gearbox, engine, two tyres as well as battery. The total estimated value of the vehicle parts stolen is about R300 000. These motor parts were then loaded into another vehicle and surprisingly the suspects gave the EMS personnel, the cell phones taken earlier before they left the scene.

The victims later managed to alert their supervisor and directed them to the location where they were. They (victims) were then rescued and the incident was reported to the police in Belfast where a case of robbery was reported. A manhunt has since been launched for the suspects.

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has further spoken strongly against the suspects who carried out the said robbery. “As law enforcement officers, we will not allow a situation like this, whereby emergency workers will be hindered to carry out their duties by criminals. We will do all in our powers to bring them to book and they cannot escape the arm of the law” said the General. 

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Meanwhile, the police at Belfast urge the public to assist with information on the whereabouts of the suspects by calling Captain Tobias Mogadime at 071 353 6763 or call the Crime Stop number at 08600 10111. Alternatively, members of the community can send information via MYSAPSAPP. All received information will be treated as confidential and callers may opt to remain anonymous.

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Medical staff held hostage, ambulance stripped

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