Durban - Four suspected house-breakers, who were in possession of police reflector jackets and radios, have been arrested after their getaway car crashed while they were being chased by the police.
The accident happened on the N2 freeway northbound near the Queen Nandi Drive turn-off on Monday.
Colonel Enver Salie, commander of the Sydenham visible policing response team, said two members of his unit had been on patrol when they were alerted to four suspects in a stolen Mercedes-Benz.
They were wanted in connection with a house-breaking in Jacaranda Avenue, Isipingo Hills.
Salie said the unit members gave chase and the suspects smashed into a white Isuzu bakkie carrying a compressor unit on its trailer, before hitting the freeway barrier.
“The call came through on the police radio that four men had allegedly broken into a house in Isipingo and they were driving a Mercedes-Benz, which had been stolen from Bayview, in Chatsworth, last month,” he said.
“Seargent Bhagwandin and Constable Ruiters from my team responded to the call. They saw the suspects travelling from the M19 northbound towards the N2. At the interchange where construction is taking place, they gave chase, heading northbound.”
Salie said the suspects had been driving at in excess of 200km/h on the busy freeway before the crash.
“Surprisingly they (the suspects) all got out of the car uninjured and attempted to flee the scene on foot. They ran into the nearby veld, but my officers apprehended them.”
The driver of the bakkie, Anton Khulekani, who works for Unique Telecommunications and Plant Hire, was taken to Addington Hospital.
Speaking by phone from a hospital stretcher, Khulekani said he was stunned when he saw the Mercedes-Benz come “flying” past him in the fast lane and crashing.
He said the car spun before hitting his bakkie and mounting the barrier.
“I initially didn’t know what was going on, but when the cops gave chase on foot I knew these guys were criminals.”
Khulekani said he was in pain and feared he had suffered some back and neck injuries as his movement was severely restricted. He was waiting to have X-rays taken.
Police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed that four men between the ages of 20 and 25 had been arrested.
He said they had been caught with police radios and reflector jackets, an R5 magazine with four rounds of ammunition and other goods.
“The suspects will be charged with housebreaking, possession of suspected stolen property, possession of ammunition and car hijacking.
“The police will be conducting an investigation into how the men obtained the police radios and reflector jackets,” said Zwane.