‘The last twenty-four hours before a heist take forever. You are ready. You can’t wait. You are already thinking about the money. It’s a kind of high that programs your mind. You are excited. You just want to get it done. That moment when there is no turning back, when it is about to go down … all your senses come alive: your eyes, everything comes alive. It’s extreme, like a phenomenal rush of ecstasy. It’s the thing that makes you want to do it again.’
From the horror of the 2006 Villa Nora heist – where four security guards were burnt alive in their armoured vehicle after a ferocious fight-back against highly trained mercenaries – to the 2016 robbery of a cash centre in Witbank, where a gang made off with almost R104 million after impersonating police officers, Heist! is an impeccably researched exposé of an endemic crime phenomenon that some analysts warn could bring South Africa to its knees.
Using the information gleaned from thousands of pages of court documents and press reports, as well as interviews with scores of police officers, crime intelligence agents, prosecutors, defence lawyers, researchers, journalists, security guards and the criminals themselves, Heist! provides an unprecedented insight into a crime that has increased by a staggering 49 per cent in the first eight months of 2017 alone.
As informative and thought-provoking as it is distressing, this is a book by an investigative journalist at the top of her game.
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