- Free State police are searching for a three-year-old boy, who was kidnapped on Monday.
- Police say five men drove to an area with the child and his mother - and, later, a shootout ensued between the men and security guards.
- The men ran back to their car and left with the child, leaving the mother behind.
Police in the Free State are searching for three-year-old Onalerona Riet, who was allegedly kidnapped by five armed men.
According to police spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele, the child's 23-year-old mother told officers a group of men showed up at a plot in Abrahamskraal, in Bainsvlei, looking for her boyfriend on Monday evening.
They were allegedly in a van, with no canopy.
The mother agreed to take the men to Baylana, near the R64 Road (Boshof Road), where she last saw her boyfriend.
"The complainant took her three-year-old boy, and she sat with the child in the front seat, as four other suspects sat at the back of the bakkie. The group arrived at their destination, which was the diesel depot in R64 Road, Bainsvlei.
"The complainant and the suspects got off the vehicle, leaving the child behind in the bakkie."
Makhele said the mother told police that, when they approached the depot, the men realised there were security guards.
They allegedly started shooting, ran back to the car and drove off with the child, leaving his mother behind.
He said a case of kidnapping had been opened.
Police are looking for five men, who are driving in a red bakkie without a canopy, in Mangaung area.
Anyone with information to assist police in finding the kidnapped boy and the armed men is requested to contact Detective Captain Thapelo Motseki at 082 466 8405.