Cash vans targeted in brazen heists in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Criminal syndicates in South Africa have increased attacks on security vans transporting large amounts of cash, brazenly opening fire and blowing up vehicles in chaotic scenes that send civilians rushing for cover.

Some bystanders manage to film the often daylight attacks and post footage on social media, magnifying concerns in a country that struggles with a high rate of violent crime.

There have been 75 attacks on vehicles carrying cash this year, compared to 31 in the same period in 2017, said Kalyani Pillay, CEO of the South African Banking Risk Information Centre.

Thieves have stolen 63 percent more money this year than in the same period in 2017, according to Pillay. She declined to say how much, though the amount is estimated to be at least several million dollars.