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Cape Town - Three prisoners are on the loose in Cape Town after escaping from a police vehicle transporting them to Pollsmoor Prison on Thursday.
“They were on their way from Mfuleni to Pollsmoor Prison when four of them escaped,” said police spokesman Andre Traut.
“One has since been re-arrested and the other three are being sought. That is all the information we have got so far.”
Western Cape Correctional Services Commissioner Delekile Klaas added: “The suspects were being transported by the SAPS. This means that they are awaiting trial. We transport only convicted suspects from the respective courts to whichever prison.”
The escape took place in Uxbridge Road, Lakeside, on Thursday afternoon.
An Uxbridge Road resident, who asked not to be named, said there was a commotion moments after the prisoners broke loose.
“Two of the men ran towards the Lakeside station. The other one ran towards the park (Zandvlei Park). There were police officers all over the road and one of the men was caught. There were police officers running all over the whole place trying to catch the suspects,” the resident said.
He said he could not see the escapers’ faces or what they were wearing.
“They broke out of the police bakkie and ran like crazy. It is very quiet here, so people would notice any suspicious movement.”
After the escape, at least four SAPS vehicles from the Mfuleni police station were seen in the area. Police officers on the scene refused to speak to the Cape Times when asked for information about what had happened.
A Kuils River police truck that is used to transport detainees and prisoners to and from courts also arrived at the scene.
At about 7pm police were in discussion with Mountain Men Security armed response members who also responded to the escape.
Mountain Men Security spokesman George Dillon said their members had rushed to the area when residents alerted them to the escape.
“We had three vehicles on patrol. We searched the area with police and remained there till late. We encouraged residents and our clients to keep doors locked and to be on the lookout for any suspicious men in the area.
“From the information we received from the police on the scene, one suspect was charged with rape, another for housebreaking and the other for motor vehicle theft. I do not know what the arrested suspect was charged with. They are all from the Delft area,” Dillon said.
Asked about this, Traut said late Thursday night: “There is no new update on the incident. Our investigators are still busy.” More details would be available on Friday.