The South African Police Service (SAPS) recovered stolen livestock with a valued at more than R250,000 at Emdo Park, outside Polokwane, on Thursday morning.
The police were conducting routine crime prevention duties when they spotted a male suspect who was herding 41 cows and subsequently decided to stop and inquire where he was going with the livestock at around 2am on Thursday.
"The suspect apparently ran away and left the cattle behind to evade arrest. Police suspected that the livestock might have been stolen and immediately took them to Seshego Police Station for safekeeping," said police spokesperson Brigadier Hlulani Mashaba.
"Livestock owners in the area were notified about the recovery of stolen cattle, and later on, the lawful owner managed to avail himself at the police station and positively identify them through a brand mark before they were handed to him," Mashaba said.
Mashaba further added that preliminary investigations revealed that the owner locked the cattle inside the kraal in the evening and went to sleep.
"When the owner woke up at about 6am, he discovered that the kraal was empty and the cattle were nowhere to be found.
"He subsequently received information about the recovery of livestock at the police station and immediately rushed to the premises," Mashaba said.
Mashaba also added that the lawful owner was relieved to find the cattle and deeply appreciated the police for their excellent job in recovering them.
"The vigilance of our police as they executed their patrol duties has saved the livestock owner thousands of rands in losses. Such losses are prevented through our proactive crime prevention approach," Mashaba said.
Mashaba further confirmed that police have launched a manhunt for the unknown suspect, and anyone with information that can help is urged to contact the Investigating Officer, Constable Isaah Kgopa, on 0825658135, crime stop number 08600 10111, or the nearest police station or MySAPSApp.
Police investigations are continuing.
Meanwhile, the Provincial Commissioner of Limpopo Lieutenant, General Thembi Hadebe, has applauded the Seshego SAPS Crime Prevention members for the immediate recovery of stolen livestock (cattle).
"We applaud Seshego SAPS for this sterling groundwork," Hadebe added.