Durban — An off-duty police officer was among several suspects arrested for truckjacking and the theft of tyres.
Police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda said the police arrested 16 people, including the owner of a tyre fitment centre, his wife and son as well as taxi drivers after they were caught in red-handed loading suspected stolen tyres on to a truck inside the tyre fitment centre on Roger Sishi Road in New Germany, Pinetown, on Sunday afternoon.
Netshiunda said the police received reports of a truck that was reportedly hijacked under mysterious circumstances in Umbilo on Saturday afternoon, July 15.
"The truck was recovered within an hour in Springfield, but it was empty," Netshiunda said. "Intelligence led the police to a tyre fitment centre in New Germany where the suspects were found loading the suspected stolen tyres on to another truck. Preliminary investigations suggest that the hijacked truck made a stop at the tyre fitment centre to offload the tyres before it was abandoned in Springfield.
"An off-duty police officer was also arrested after he was found at the crime scene, and his presence inside the premises is being investigated. His vehicle has also been impounded for further investigations," Netshiunda said.
Earlier, Mobi-Claw 911 said their ops director, Wynand Laatz, received information from an SAPS member that led to a request from a security team in Johannesburg to assist with information about a huge consignment of tyres that were stolen in a hijacking in Johannesburg.
Laatz followed up the information, which led them to a popular motor spares business in New Germany, Durban.
He summoned the assistance of the SAPS, and members from Durban Flying Squad and Pinetown attended.
"The result was that the goods worth R2.5 million were recovered and 14 suspects arrested at the scene," Mobi-Claw 911 said.
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