Three men have been arrested for stealing metal out of a mine in Welkom, Free State police said on Wednesday.
Captain Stephen Thakeng said a police patrol tried to pull over a bakkie with three occupants on Tuesday afternoon. The driver tried to evade police, but was blocked by traffic.
"When the bakkie stopped, two occupants jumped from the motor vehicle and fled in different directions. Mine property was found inside the bakkie."
The three, aged between 22 and 30, were chased and caught.
The men, two South Africans and a Lesotho national, were found in possession of metal, two gas bottles and a cutting torch.
They appeared in the Welkom Magistrate's Court on Wednesday charged with the possession of suspected stolen property. The case was postponed to May 24 for a bail hearing.