Hijackers shot after stealing police officers’ Corolla

2016-06-06 09:45
b>CRIME IN SA:</B> Wheels24 readers share experiences of road crimes in SA. <i>Image: iStock</i>

b>CRIME IN SA: Wheels24 readers share experiences of road crimes in SA. Image: iStock

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Pietermaritzburg - A dramatic shootout between police and three men on the N3 near Market Road ended in the arrest of the trio on Friday night.

Police officers from Alexandra Road, Pietermaritzburg Central and the K9 Unit as well as members from CAT responded to a car hijacking incident on Friday night, ending in a shootout on the N3.

A police source, who could not be named as he is not authorised to speak to the press, said two police officers in a private vehicle in Alexandra Park were on Friday night approached by three men after they had been dropped off by a taxi.

“The three men walked up to the vehicle and held them up at gun-point before escaping in the two officers’ car,” said the source.

The police called radio control with the registration number of the hijacked Toyota Corolla, which was spotted shortly afterwards in Cleland.

“After spotting the vehicle, two CAT vehicles gave chase and followed the suspects onto the N3,” he said.

The driver of the stolen vehicle then produced a firearm and opened fire on the officers.

CAT returned fire, shooting the tyres of the stolen car, and shooting the driver in the arm and another suspect in the leg.

The vehicle came to a halt near Market Road and two men jumped out of the vehicle and tried to flee.

The source said the Pietermaritzburg K9 Unit dogs tackled the two men who had tried to escape and arrested them, while the driver was arrested in the stolen car. It is believed that the three men, all between the ages of 18 and 19, are also linked to at least one house robbery and other cases of hijacking around Pietermaritzburg.

KZN police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Shooz Magudulela said two of the suspects who were injured were taken to hospital for treatment where they remain under police guard.

The hijacked vehicle and an unlicensed 9mm pistol with its serial number filed off were recovered.

“The suspects will be charged for hijacking, possession of an unlicensed firearm and attempted murder,” said Magudulela.

“They will appear at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court soon. The recovered firearm will be subjected to ballistic tests to establish if it was used in the commission of any other crime in the country.”

uMgungundlovu North Cluster commander Brigadier Francis Bantham commended all members involved in the swift arrest.

“The arrest shows the power of dedicated and responsive police officers who apprehended the suspects,” she said.

KZN acting provincial commissioner, Major-General Bhekinkosi Langa applauded police for the swift arrest of the hijackers.

“We are glad that our police officers escaped unscathed during the shootout,” he said.

“I urge our police officers to remain alert at all times to protect the citizens of this province and prevent criminal activities from taking place.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  arrest  |  hijacking  |  police  |  saps

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