A gang of robbers have shown that crime does indeed seem to pay in South Africa, after carrying out a highly-organised cash heist using luxury cars as getaway vehicles.
The criminals, dressed in the uniforms of a well-known South African security company, attacked guards collecting cash in daylight from a takeaway in Johannesburg. After stealing the guards' van, they blew it up with explosives, extracted the cash and sped off in a Porsche and a Volvo SUV.
According to police statistics, more than 200,000 South African homes - mostly those lived in by more South Africans - were robbed last year. Many break-ins were not even reported to the police.
More than 66,000 vehicles were hijacked or stolen in the same period. Anneliese Burgess, author of the book Heist, an expose of cash-in-transit crimes, said: "Luxury vehicles are often used because they make for good, fast getaway vehicles." David Bruce, an independent researcher in policing, crime and criminal justice, said that street robbery was still not recognised by police as a priority crime, despite many cases ending in murder.
Crime in South Africa has got worse every year in the last eight. Crime decreased dramatically after this year's Covid lockdown, which banned sales of alcohol, but has risen again since the lifting of most lockdown restrictions in August.