Johannesburg - An Ekurhuleni metro police department (EMPD) task team arrested a man allegedly wanted for a spate of crimes across at least two provinces.

Members of the department’s housebreaking unit cornered the 35-year-old suspect on Saturday evening at a BP petrol station in Tembisa.

The unit had received a tip-off from residents and began following the grey VW Beetle he was driving, said EMPD spokesman Chief Superintendent Wilfred Kgasago.

“They sandwiched him in at the station as he was filling up. It took five minutes before he listened to the officers and got out of his car,” said Kgasago.

The suspect’s girlfriend then allegedly tried to bribe officers at the scene with R50 000. She wasn’t arrested.

“The officers at the time were more concerned with getting him in custody,” Kgasago explained.

The officers did not find a weapon in the vehicle and Kgasago said the man told them he had lost his gun in a shoot-out in Fordsburg, where three of his accomplices were shot dead.

The incident the man was allegedly referring to occurred on July 4 last year, when three alleged hijackers were shot dead in Fordsburg.

They were shot dead when they pulled up in a VW Golf next to a Mercedes outside the Sniper hunting shop.

One of the occupants of the Golf emerged with a handgun and was shot dead. In the ensuing shoot-out, two others were also killed.

One of the dead men was well-known criminal George “Bles” More.

The suspect arrested on Saturday, said an investigator, was More’s right-hand man.

More and the alleged suspect specialised in robbing Chinese nationals in the east of Joburg, said the investigator. Chinese nationals were targeted because they often carried large sums of money.

They also followed and allegedly robbed garage owners who were carrying cash.

Both men, the investigator claimed, were usually heavily armed, often using assault rifles.

Kgasago said the suspect had at least five warrants of arrest out for him and was linked to at least three cash-in-transit robberies in Limpopo.

He was also allegedly responsible for two armed robberies in Tembisa at the beginning of last year, during which cigarettes worth more than R1.5 million were taken.

Kgasago said police were trying to identify the caller of several death threats made to officers who made the arrest.

The man appeared in the Tembisa Regional Court on Monday on armed robbery charges.

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The Star