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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Three suspects caught red-handed while stealing fuel at Mpumalanga depot during robbery

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Three suspects, aged between 30 and 47, were arrested in Mpumalanga after they were allegedly caught red-handed stealing fuel during a business robbery at an energy depot in Piet Retief.

The incident took place before midnight on Wednesday, according to Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala.

During the arrest, a licenced firearm with ammunition was confiscated by police.

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“According to the information, police in Piet Retief received a complaint about a business robbery in progress at a certain business premise,” Mohlala said.

“The members immediately attended to the incident, and upon arrival at the scene, they discovered that suspects were busy draining diesel from a depot tanker into a truck,” he said.

“It is further alleged that four employees were tied with shoelaces then locked at the guard room. Five suspects were spotted and reportedly started to run when they noticed members (police) in order to evade arrest.

“However, the members gave chase and managed to arrest two of the suspects on the spot.”

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Read | Three men caught red handed siphoning diesel from truck in Durban

Additionally, the police continued to pursue the suspects and managed to arrest the third person who was cornered while driving a Volkswagen Polo with Lesotho registration number plates.

The car was spotted in the Ermelo direction, and it was followed and then cornered by police officers approximately 30 kilometres towards Ermelo.

“It was during this time that a firearm was found in the possession of the suspect. Though it was discovered that the firearm is licenced, the police confiscated the weapon anyway for further investigation in order to establish if it was not used in the commission of crime elsewhere,” said Mohlala.

“On further investigation, the astute members discovered that the vehicle identification numbers of the truck used by the suspects were filed off.”

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The investigation team is connecting the dots to determine the owner of the truck.

Meanwhile, the three were charged with business robbery and possession of suspected stolen property.

“More charges could possibly be added against the suspects as the investigation continues,” said Mohlala.

Meanwhile, provincial commissioner of SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has commended the law enforcement team for their “sterling” work.

“Indeed, our fight against crime, more especially violent crimes is yielding positive results. It is however concerning to learn that licensed owners of firearms are allegedly found using those weapons to commit crimes.

“The law must deal decisively with such matters without fear or favour,” she said. – IOL

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