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South Africa robbers use police uniforms

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October 21, 2013 11:51 AM EST | AP


JOHANNESBURG — JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African police say there has been an increase in robberies reportedly committed by people in police uniforms and using vehicles with emergency lights.

Gen. Riah Phiyega, the national police commissioner, said Monday that she had set up a team to investigate about 250 alleged cases of such robberies.

Police say that in some cases, people with cash are being robbed while going to or from a bank, or are followed and robbed while traveling from the airport to their destinations. According to a police statement, "various groups" collude with hotel staff, taxi drivers and, in some instances, with police either directly involved in the heists or supplying guns, uniforms or emergency lights.

Police say the trend has "resurfaced" in Gauteng province, home to Johannesburg, South Africa's biggest city.