A mother buying milk for her baby may have led police to uncover a crowbar gang and hijacking syndicate that has been terrorising residents in the city.
The errand ended with five suspects, including the mother, being arrested in Bishop Lavis.
They are expected to appear in court tomorrow, either in Bellville or Cape Town, on charges including possession of housebreaking equipment.
Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut confirmed on Saturday that when three of the five suspects were arrested on Thursday, two crowbars, an axe and a gun were found in a stolen car the people were in.
“The involvement of the suspects in house robberies and vehicle hijackings is being investigated,” he said.
According to Bishop Lavis police, they noted a rise in housebreaking in Montana that started last year. A statement described how a mother who was running an errand had led police to the gang in connection with a number of crimes, including a burglary.
The police said on Thursday night while doing patrols in the area, they noticed a grey Polo Vivo. The officers tracked the driver – the mother.
“She informed the police that her boyfriend gave her the vehicle to buy their baby some milk,” the statement said.
Traut said officers had checked the registration number of the car she was driving and discovered it had been hijacked in Cape Town in April.
He said the 23-year-old woman was arrested.
Officers then went to the home of her boyfriend in Montana and, once there, he admitted he gave her the car. This man, 34, was then also arrested.
While police were at the home, another car, a white Honda with three people inside, arrived. Officers searched this car too.
“Inside the vehicle they found an unlicensed firearm with a removed serial number, two crowbars and an axe,” Traut said. There were also gloves.
Traut said police discovered the car had been hijacked in Parow in May. The car’s three occupants, aged 24, 27 and 29, were arrested.
More investigations led police to believe that the trio had been involved in a house robbery in the vicinity just 20 minutes earlier.
The statement said officers were investigating whether the suspects were part of a syndicate.
Crowbar burglaries have been increasing around Cape Town recently, with areas in both the northern and southern suburbs being affected.
It is believed that there are several crowbar gangs who force their way through front doors of homes using crowbars and burgle in minutes.