Durban - A Shoot-out between police and suspected burglars left one man dead after a car chase in Durban on Tuesday.
Three men were arrested in the drama involving two private security companies and police.
Operators in a police camera-monitoring room helped co-ordinate the chase and kept the suspects’ car on their camera screens as it raced at “breakneck speed” along the R102, N2 and then to Queen Nandi Drive.
Police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane, said the car that police had been chasing, a black VW Polo, had been hijacked in Umbilo on Thursday.
Its occupants began shooting at police, who returned fire, he said.
One of the suspects was shot dead and three were arrested, Zwane confirmed.
The drama began when a Verulam security company, Reaction Unit South Africa, responded to a housebreaking in progress in Brindhaven, Verulam.
Company spokesman, Prem Balram, said the burglars had unhinged the driveway gate from the gate motor.
“They tried to break the burglar gate at the front door but failed. The men then broke an aluminium window frame and forced the burglar guards off the wall.”
A neighbour heard noises next door and saw men outside the house.
She pressed the panic button, setting off the alarm and the burglars fled, Balram said.
The first reaction officer responded on a motorbike and saw a black Polo speeding off. “We lost the vehicle in a chase on the R102,” Balram said.
Glen Naidoo, chief executive of KZN VIP Protection services, said he had been driving on the R102 in Verulam when the Polo raced past him, driving erratically.
Naidoo said he chased, but kept a distance from the car while alerting police.
“I reached a speed of 200km/h pursuing the Polo. The driver of the Polo was driving at breakneck speed. He saw me following him. When we got to uMhlanga, police joined the chase,” he said.
“The Polo took the N2 on-ramp heading towards North Coast Road. The police camera room was also notified and helped co-ordinate the chase and keep the Polo on their camera screens.”
The Polo took the Queen Nandi Drive off-ramp from the N2 southbound and then crossed over the N2 bridge and rejoined the N2 northbound.
Zwane said the suspects then began firing at police.
“Police retaliated and shot dead one of the occupants.”
The Polo came to a halt at the side of the road where police arrested three.
One of them was taken to hospital where he remained under police guard, Zwane said.
An unlicensed 9mm pistol was found at the scene.
Naidoo said one of the suspects had “Indian designed jewellery” in his pocket.
Zwane said a case of attempted murder, possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition, as well as possession of property suspected to be stolen (the VW Polo) was lodged at the Greenwood Park police station.
Netcare 911 spokesman, Chris Botha, said the man who was shot had died before they arrived at the scene.
He said two other men had sustained minor injuries while a third was taken to hospital.