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Johannesburg - Police recovered a police car after they had chased a group of cop impersonators for more than three hours to Frankfort, Free State, on Tuesday night.
Four men had robbed a house and its occupants in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, before the chase.
Mark Pittout said on Tuesday night that the thugs had arrived in a marked police Volkswagen Golf GTI equipped with a police radio and told the owners they had come to give them feedback on a previous robbery.
Pittout, a member of crime forum group eBlockwatch, said the owners had not suspected the men in jeans and police shirts and bulletproof vests were impostors.
The two men who entered the house said they were from Pietermaritzburg and had come to give the family feedback regarding a robbery at the home in 2010. They said they had caught the robber.
Pittout said the men had also arrived carrying a docket that they showed to the family.
Andre Snyman, of eBlockwatch, posted on the group’s Facebook page that the men had “walked upstairs and sat with the family around a table” before pulling out guns.
Snyman said they had ransacked two houses on the property for more than 25 minutes, stealing jewellery and money.
They beat up the occupants and took the son-in-law to his house – also on the property– where they stole some of his possessions.
Snyman said the men had also demanded guns from the family, but had not got any.
After the robbers had left, the victims phoned the police.
A crime intelligence member, who had received an SMS about the robbery, spotted the car in Van Reenen, near Harrismith. A high-speed chase ensued.
When the robbers became aware they were being followed, they fired shots at the police. One SAPS vehicle rolled during the shootout.
The men later escaped in a getaway car.