The Johannesburg Metro Police Department says it will institute an internal investigation after one of their branded patrol vehicles was stolen by suspects in Senaoane, Soweto, on Sunday night.
Spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said the suspects drove away with the car after three officers stopped to investigate a complaint about a tent that had been erected in the middle of a road.
When officers got out of the car to speak to residents, he said the suspects jumped inside the vehicle and drove away with it.
"We spent about two to three hours searching for it in Soweto and managed to get it with the help of a tracking device.
"The right front and rear wheels were damaged as well as the front bumper. It seems as if they crashed it somewhere, kept driving and only abandoned it after they realised that the tyre was flat.
"A docket for vehicle theft and vandalism has been opened at Moroka police station. Fingerprints, as well as other information, have been taken," said Minnaar.
While circumstances that led to the vehicle being stolen were still being gathered, Minnaar explained that the engine could not be switched off when the vehicle's blue light was on.
Never miss a story. Choose from our range of newsletters to get the news you want delivered straight to your inbox.