Drama unfolded along the Port Elizabeth beachfront on Tuesday afternoon when a British tourist was robbed and it escalated into a high-speed chase, a shooting and the arrest of the teenaged robber.
Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said a British couple had gone for a walk along the beach and sat on one of many benches along the pathway shortly after noon on Tuesday.
She said the robber, who had been sitting on a nearby bench, had allegedly got up and threatened the couple with a firearm, demanding that the 74-year-old woman hand over the gold chain she was wearing.
“The suspect snatched the chain from the woman’s neck and started running.”
Naidu said witnesses saw what had happened and chased after the robber.
“A person on a bicycle and [another] in a bakkie gave chase. The suspect was seen jumping into a taxi. The taxi was stopped and as the suspect was pulled out, he fired a shot, injuring one of the men,” she said.
A 35-year-old man was shot in the hip and taken to hospital for treatment.
Police grateful to community
Naidu said the boy was arrested with the assistance of a private security company, ADT, and members of the community.
A firearm and the woman’s chain were recovered at the scene.
Mount Road cluster commander Major General Thembisile Patekile expressed his gratitude to the community for reacting to the robbery and coming to the aid of the elderly couple.
“We wish a speedy recovery to the good Samaritan who was shot and assure the community and tourists to this beautiful city that the SAPS is committed to ensuring a safe and secure environment for all,” said Patekile.
The couple praised police officers for the efficient and professional manner in which they were treated after being robbed on the beachfront.
Naidu said a case of robbery with a firearm and attempted murder was being investigated.
She said the 19-year-old robber would appear in court on Friday.