Bungling crooks lock themselves inside armored truck

Johannesburg: Police borrowed a security company's armoured van to chase down a gang of inept robbers who accidentally locked themselves in a stolen cash-in-transit vehicle after a freeway shootout yesterday.

Police and armed guards of the Protea Coin Group, using an armoured vehicle and a helicopter belonging to Coin, cornered the robbers while they were trying to flee on to the nearby N3 highway after a shootout at the Coin base in Edenvale.

All seven robbers were arrested. One was injured in the shooting.

National police spokesman Capt Dennis Adriao said the police had received a tip-off about the impending robbery about 3pm yesterday, and the National Intervention Unit had headed for the base in Long Meadow in Edenvale.

Three of the gang were arrested at Coin, but four stole a Coin van and tried to flee.

The police managed to force the robbers to a standstill at the N3 onramp but then could not get the gang out of the stolen vehicle.

"They were not familiar with the vehicles, and our vehicles have a system that locks itself," said Protea Coin Group chief executive Jorge Ferreira.

"So we had we come in with the master system to open the vehicle."