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One Suspect Shot Dead in Gunfight as Cops Pounce on Truck Hijackers Offloading Loot in Gqeberha

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Police in Gqeberha have arrested 17 suspects after catching them red-handed offloading liquor from an articulated truck hijacked earlier on the same day. One suspect was shot dead during an exchange of fire between the suspects and the cops.

Provincial Commissioner, Lt Gen Nomthetheleli Mene lauded the excellent efforts by the police officers who expedited intelligence information of alcohol busy being offloaded from the hijacked truck at business premises in Windvogel on Saturday afternoon, 22 April 2023.

“It is alleged that at about 15h15 on Saturday, the driver of a horse and trailer truck was driving down Struanway towards Deal party and as he slowed down at a speed hump, a charcoal grey VW Polo overtook him and stopped in front of him.”

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“The passenger exited and pointed the driver with a firearm. He was ordered to get out and forced into the VW Polo. He was later dropped off in Motherwell,” said police spokesperson Col Priscilla Naidu.

“About an hour later, at about 16h15, Gqeberha K9 unit and SAPS Gelvandale members followed up on the information where they found a number of suspects offloading the truck in Windvogel.

Read | Cops recover hijacked truck and stolen copper cables, nab suspect in Gqeberha

“When the suspects spotted the police vehicles, they allegedly scattered on foot into the bushy area next to the premises while at the same time shooting at members.”

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“Police retaliated and one suspect was fatally wounded while another 16 were arrested on the scene,” she added.

One Suspect Shot Dead in Gunfight as Cops Pounce on Truck Hijackers Offloading Loot in Gqeberha
A signal jammer, cellphones as well as several items of clothing property belonging to the suspects were confiscated on the scene. Photo: SAPS

The dense bush was tracked with police dogs, Bentley and Max where another suspect who was hiding between the reeds was apprehended by Max. A total of 17 suspects were arrested.

The identity of the deceased, aged approximately 30 years old, is unknown.

A signal jammer, cellphones as well as several items of clothing property belonging to the suspects were confiscated on the scene.

SAPS Algoa Park is investigating a case of vehicle hijacking. The estimated value of the liquor is R1,7 million.

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An inquest will be investigated by IPID and a case of possession of the suspected stolen property will be investigated by detectives from SAPS Bethelsdorp. The arrested suspects aged between 16 and 35 years old are expected to appear in court soon.

Lt Gen Mene commended the team effort by the police officials involved in the arrests and recovery. She reiterated that truck hijackings are not only a serious concern for police but also very costly for businesses.

“We, the SAPS are vigorously working to crack these syndicates. We urge the community not to turn a blind eye on suspicious activity in their neighbourhoods, instead, they should report it to police either voluntarily or anonymously,” added Lt Gen Mene.

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