A man believed to be a pastor was expected to appear in court on Wednesday for allegedly being behind an armed robbery in which a toy gun was used to threaten and subdue victims.
This is after a woman and her child were held up at gunpoint at home, tied up at home and their house ransacked by a balaclava-wearing man who also fled in their vehicle.
The two were, however, not harmed during the robbery and their attacker was later traced and arrested.
Spokesperson for the Mpumalanga Police Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said on Tuesday the 48-year-old woman from College View in Bushbuckridge was getting ready for work as well as getting her daughter, 13, ready for school when a man wearing a balaclava and holding a firearm entered their house.
He said the man held them hostage and tied both of them with cable ties.
“The man then robbed the family of their household items, including a plasma TV, a music system as well as other items before driving off with the stolen items in the victim’s Toyota Avanza.
“Police were notified about the incident where a case of house robbery was opened.
“They then went to the scene and started with their investigation working in collaboration with a car tracking company. They were led to a certain house in Violetbank area where items stolen during the robbery were found.
“They further got information that the items were allegedly left at the said place by a man who is known at the area as a pastor driving a Toyota Avanza.”
Hlathi said further investigation led police to the stolen vehicle which was found abandoned at Acornhoek area without its key.
He said they went to the suspect’s house at Malaineng near Bushbuckridge. There, he said, they found him in possession of the car key.
“Police searched his place and also found a toygun which they believe was the one used by the suspect earlier to commit the house robbery.
The man, believed to be a pastor in a local church in Bushbuckridge, was charged with robbery.
Hlathi said they were grateful for the co-operation of the car tracking company as that led to the arrest of the suspect.