Alleged booze truck hijackers foiled by police chopper and Flying Squad

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Some of the liquor recovered from a hijacked truck.
Some of the liquor recovered from a hijacked truck.
  • A truck carrying liquor worth R200 000 was hijacked in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.
  • A police chopper and Flying Squad members managed to track down the truck and arrest two people.
  • They will appear in court soon.

Police came out in full force to apprehend the alleged hijackers of a truck carrying liquor worth around R200 000 in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.

According to police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu, "exceptional collaboration" between various units of the South African Police Service (SAPS) resulted in the recovery of the hijacked truck with its consignment, the arrest of two people and the seizure of a 9mm pistol.

At about 10:30, four men travelling in a white Ford Bantam forced the liquor truck off the N2 highway near Van Stadens, in the direction of Cape Town.

They were armed and instructed the driver to pull over. They got into the truck and shoved the driver, 34, and his passenger, 32, behind the back seat.

READ | 'Hijackers' toast after cops recover trucks transporting bread and gas

"The tracker signal indicated that the truck was moving on the R75 near Springs in Uitenhage. Immediately, the SAPS Airwing pilot was airborne and within minutes the truck was spotted. The SAPS Airwing assisted the Flying Squad members as to the direction of the moving truck. The suspects were busy offloading the liquor in the bushes when they were suddenly surprised by both the police chopper and the Flying Squad members," Naidu said. 

"They abandoned the truck and started running in different directions. Two suspects, aged 27 and 48, were apprehended by the Flying Squad members. A 9mm pistol [with its] serial number filed off, a jammer and the driver's and passenger's cellphones were recovered. All the crates of liquor were also recovered. Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage K9 members also provided back-up," she said.

Naidu said the men were being detained on charges of truck hijacking, the prohibited possession of a firearm and the illegal possession of ammunition. They are expected to appear in court soon.

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