By Martha Louis – EM TV News, Lae
A large sum of money was stolen from Z&H Corporation in Lae this morning, following an early morning heist involving an armed group of men.
Armed with a pump-action shotgun and a M16, the group hit Z&H between the hours of 5 and 6am.
The men were still inside the store when guards found them and gave chase.
Two of the gang members were captured after the others from the group left them behind.
The group travelled to the premises via a 10-seater vehicle, which was believed to have been hired by the gang.
The criminals first made an attempt to break in to the store, but were unsuccessful. A second attempt closer to 6am yielded them success.
Millennium Security Branch Manager, Emmanuel Yamben, said the criminals were inside the store when the security guards encountered them.
The guards pursued them towards the DCA beach front, and it was here that the armed men fired four shots at the guards. One of the shots hit the left side window of the vehicle they were pursuing them in.
Yamben said the armed men left the vehicle and got on to a waiting boat. They fired one last shot at the guards before escaping.
The shot hit the rear door of the vehicle. This is not the first incident where criminals have used a boat to escape after robbing major supermarkets in the city.
In November last year criminals escaped on a boat after robbing Lae’s R18 supermarket.
And again, a fast food outlet at the main wharf area was robbed where criminals escaped on a boat.
This incident is also a reminder to authorities and the business community to assist Lae police with a water policing unit.
The lack of capacity and resources is making police work more difficult when it comes to pursuing criminals on boats.