April 29 - Police in Port Elizabeth have arrested three suspects and recovered a hijacked car with the kidnapped driver still inside the vehicle. Photo: SAPS (Twitter)

PORT ELIZABETH - Police in Port Elizabeth have arrested three suspects and recovered a hijacked car with the owner still inside the vehicle, Eastern Cape police said on Sunday.

"Being alert while performing crime prevention duties is one of the reasons why our members achieve good successes. This was once again seen by members of the flying squad after they arrested three suspects and recovered a stolen vehicle with the driver inside the vehicle," Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said.

While police officers were carrying out normal crime prevention duties in the Summerstrand area on Friday afternoon, they noticed a Toyota Avanza that was earlier recorded as a hijacked vehicle driving in their direction.

"The members made a U-turn and followed the vehicle. Once the driver of the Avanza noticed the police vehicle they sped away and a high-speed chase ensued, but in Marine Drive the members stopped the vehicle and apprehended three suspects, and one suspect manage to run away; the owner of the vehicle was unharmed but was in a state of shock," she said.

Upon inquiring from the owner what had happened, he informed the officers that at about 9.30am, while he was in Tonjeni Street in Kwazakele, three suspects climbed into his car and pointed a firearm at him, and then forced him to drive to Njoli Square where another suspect got into the vehicle.

"The suspect forced the driver at gunpoint to drive toward Cape Road, Fiveways area, where the driver said the suspects used a remote to jam two vehicles and stole property from these vehicles. After committing the crime in Cape Road they forced the driver to drive towards Summerstrand and when they noticed the police vehicle they forced him to speed away.

"During the morning the complainant managed to alert his sister that he has been hijacked and said she must contact the police. The information of the vehicle was circulated by radio control and that was when the flying squad noticed the vehicle." 

All three suspects were detained on charges of hijacking and kidnapping and would appear in court on Monday. The car was also confiscated for forensic investigation, Janse van Rensburg said.

African News Agency/ANA