- A video out of South Africa showed the moment armed robbers attempted a cash-in-transit heist.
- The video has since gone viral, garnering more than 10 million views on YouTube.
- Insider spoke to a security expert to analyze the video and assess how the men reacted to the ambush.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Dramatic dashcam footage showing two security officers in an armored cash van in South Africa escaping an attempted ambush has captured the attention of millions of people around the world.
The three-minute YouTube video, which has more than 10 million views, shows driver Leo Prinsloo and his partner Lloyd Mtombeni calmly evading a gang of armed robbers on a highway in Pretoria, South Africa, on April 22.
Prinsloo is a former police sniper who is now a part-time private security escort, and Mtombeni told a local TV station that it was only his fourth day on the job. Both men survived the attack, and the criminals have not yet been caught, authorities said this week.
Insider spoke to Zika Rokita, the Managing Director of Nemesis Protection Global, a security company that provides security, intelligence, and crisis management services, to determine how he thinks the South African team performed.
Rokita praised the security team for managing to escape the attack unscathed and keeping the money safe in the process.
“Security is not about fighting. Security is about prevention,” Rokita told Insider. “So your job is not to fight attackers. It’s to try to get away while keeping your assets safe. And that is what they did.”
Rokita was also impressed with Prinsloo’s driving skills, adding that it is always important to stay in the vehicle for as long as possible when you’re being attacked on the road. In the video, Prinsloo can be seen driving erratically, making u-turns, and at one point, even going in the opposite direction of the highway traffic.
“[Prinsloo] is using a technique called evasive and anti-ambush driving where you use different ramming techniques or tricky maneuvers to escape a situation,” Rokita said. “But there is also obviously a risk to this because the car can get stuck.”
“The only error the driver made here is that he stopped the car and went out at the end, which is risky. You should only get out of your vehicle only if the threat is no longer there,” he added.
But Rokita also noticed that Mthombeni didn’t seem prepared for the emergency.
“By looking at the video, the passenger is clearly a rookie since he should have called for back-up right after the first shot, so it shows a lack of proper emergency response and a failure in contingency planning. For high-risk security operations like this, there must be a response team that can be alerted to come and help you,” he said.
Rokita adds that, in general, there appears to have been a “failure in the planning process,” which is not the error of the driver or his partner. “It is clear the surveillance and threat assessment didn’t provide any incident response team and also employed a guy who is still a rookie,” he said.
Watch the full video again below.
Both men in the viral view could not speak to Insider about the incident due to an ongoing investigation. Their employer Deon Coetzee said that Prinsloo has been receiving death threats following all the media attention.
Coetzee also said the company had assigned Prinsloo and his family a protective security detail.
South Africa has seen a surge in cash-in-transit robberies ever since lockdown restrictions have been lifted, according to experts.
Gareth Newham for the Institute of Security Studies told CapeTalk radio station there’d been a 66% increase in the numbers of cash-in-transit heists from October to December in South Africa compared to the same period in the previous year.
What’s even more worrying, according to Newham, is that criminals are becoming better equipped as well.
“Firearms are the most common way, where they [the criminals] sort of ram the vehicle to stop it and use firearms to try to force people out, but we’ve seen an increase in the use of explosives as well, which is a new trend,” Newham added, according to CapeTalk. “These are career criminals … they are not scared of using violence.”