Driver’s party short-lived as cops ask about 2?156 cases of beer

2014-01-23 00:00

A TRUCK driver and his friend must have choked on their beers when the police came calling — checking up on the hundreds of cases of beer stolen in a hijacking that turned out to be allegedly nothing more than the driver relocating the load himself.

On Tuesday, members of the Phoenix Crime Intelligence Unit together with Umhlali K9 Unit arrested two suspects — aged 33 and 37 respectively — in Isipingo and recovered stolen goods worth approximately R350 000, police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said.

The arrest is linked to a case on December 19, when a driver subcontracted to South African Breweries told the Empangeni police station that his consignment of 2 156 cases of beer had been stolen in a hijacking. He allegedly said he was hijacked on the N2 north bound near the Tongaat tollgate while he was on his way to deliver the stock to Empangeni. The case docket was transferred to Tongaat police station, where it was taken over by the members of Phoenix Crime Intelligence Unit for further investigation.

Their investigation led them to the 37-year-old driver, who was arrested, followed by his 33-year-old accomplice also being apprehended.

Police investigation revealed that the driver had registered a false case and the hijacking was in fact well planned — but apparently not well enough to escape detection.

The police tracked the stock down in a bottle store in D-section, Umlazi.

The two suspects will be charged for theft and perjury when they appear in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court tomorrow.

The provincial commissioner, Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni, applauded the members for the good work of thoroughly investigating the case, which led to the discovery of the staged hijacking.

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