Saturday, July 30, 2011

Gotcha! Five nabbed after N4 chase

Gotcha! Five nabbed after N4 chase
July 30 2011 at 03:20pm
By Karabo Seanego



Police question five suspected robbers who were arrested on the N4 just passed the Hans Strijdom on-ramp on Friday afternoon. Picture: Etienne Creux

Pretoria police arrested five men aged between 30 and 46 on Friday and recovered an old, rusty AK-47 rifle along with a 9mm pistol and a police-issue bulletproof vest.

The police also discovered live ammunition for both weapons in the car the men were driving when they were arrested.

In addition balaclavas, gloves, handcuffs, cable ties and several cellphones were in the vehicle.

They were arrested when they did not follow a police order to pull off the road in Hatfield.

The gang was travelling in a white Mercedes Benz Kompressor and they apparently tried to speed past the officer who ordered them to pull over.

The officer called for back-up when the car joined the N4 en route to Witbank, and a chase ensued.

Officers in unmarked cars responded and caught up with the suspects.

The suspects were surrounded and outnumbered, and the driver pulled over.

Police spokesman Constable Sam Shibambo said: “The suspects were ordered out of the vehicle and the vehicle was searched.

“We believe they might have been on their way to commit a crime, which would explain why we did not find anything else in the car.”

He said the police were also trying to piece together how the gang got their hands on the bulletproof vest and handcuffs.

He said police feared that the police officer who they belonged to might have crossed paths with the gang and come out second-best, but he did not rule out the possibility of “one of their own leasing the equipment to the gang”.

Shibambo added that the car in which the men were travelling had not been hijacked or stolen but the police believe it might belong to the parents of one of the suspects.

The suspects were charged with illegal possession of firearms and were detained at Silverton Police Station.

“(We) are continuing with investigations and the suspects will appear in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court soon,” he said. - Pretoria News Weekend

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