Gauteng police have arrested a suspect linked to the robbery of international students at a pre-school in Mamelodi East, Tshwane this past Monday.

This comes after 18 students and two professors from the US, on an outreach visit at the Viva Foundation School in Mamelodi East, were attacked and robbed by five armed suspects who robbed them of their personal belongings, including: laptops, cellphones, cameras, passports, plane tickets, bags and US dollars.

During the robbery, a teacher was pistol-whipped and a resident struck by a stray bullet in the hand as the suspects fired shots while fleeing the scene, News24 earlier reported.

ALSO READ: Police hunt gunmen who robbed international students at a pre-school in Mamelodi

A team of investigators tasked by the provincial commissioner Lieutenant General Elias Mawela were tipped-off to a car-wash in Phase 3, Mamelodi East where they discovered the same vehicle used in the crime a day before.

“The vehicle was processed, leading to the discovery of crucial evidence through which police were able to confirm that the taxi had been used during the commission of the armed robbery,” police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said in a statement on Friday.

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Subsequently, police arrested a 30-year-old male suspect on Thursday night at Pienaarspoort informal settlement in Mamelodi East 

“Police are hot on the heels of outstanding suspects and believe that it is only a matter of time before they are found and arrested,” Peters added.

Mawela has urged officers to not rest until all suspects in this matter have been apprehended.

“Criminals must understand that we mean business.

“They cannot be terrorising our communities, let alone children as well as visitors to our country, and think they can get away with it. We will not rest until we are convinced that serious and violent crime is a thing of the past.”

The suspect faces robbery, attempted murder and assault charges. He is expected to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

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