Ohrtmann Road: Four arrested after car theft bid, pursuing police hurt in crash

2008-08-18 00:00

THE owner of a BMW was among four men arrested after trying to steal a Toyota Tazz in the Pietermaritzburg city centre yesterday afternoon.

The men, who are believed to be from Umlazi and kwaMashu in Durban, were arrested after their 2007 BMW 325i collided with a Dog Unit vehicle in Ohrtmann Road at about 2.20 pm.

Two police officers were seriously injured and taken to hospital.

“The members of the Dog Unit, who were on Willowton Road, received information on their radio about the BMW occupants, who had attempted to hijack a Tazz in town.

“Soon after joining Ohrtmann Road, they came across the BMW,” said Inspector Jack Haskins of the K9 Search and Rescue Unit.

Police at the scene of the collision said the BMW is registered in the name of one of the suspects.

Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram said the suspects were spotted by a car guard trying to steal a Tazz at a business in Chatterton Road at about 2.30 pm. The guard notified the police.

The police, who were patrolling the area, saw the BMW travelling at high speed and gave chase along Ohrtmann Road near Meadow Feeds.

“A patrol dog vehicle in the vicinity also responded and gave chase. The patrol dog vehicle driven by Constable Muhle Khumalo and Inspector Sixtus Mtanti was approaching the car chase from the opposite side when they collided with the suspects’ vehicle and all four of the suspects were subsequently arrested at the scene,” said Budhram.

Ohrtmann Road between Willowton and Dartnell roads was closed while police arrested the suspects. People employed at nearby factories rushed to see what was happening after hearing the collision.

Said an onlooker: “I was at work when I heard the bang and I ran to see what was happening. Immediately after the collision I saw a number of police vehicles speeding [to] the scene.

“They arrested the men as they were trying to get out of the BMW.”

Budhram said both the officers were seriously injured, but they are believed to be in a stable condition.

The suspects were uninjured. They were apparently saved by the BMW’s airbags.

The suspects are expected to appear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court shortly.

bhans@witness.co.za

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