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PRETORIA - The South African Police Service's (SAPS) ongoing "O Kae Molao" operation on Thursday led to the recovery of vehicle parts linked to 11 cases of vehicle theft reported in various parts of Gauteng including Brooklyn, Benoni, Johannesburg, Florida, and Westonaria. 

Members of the SAPS Vehicle Crime Investigation Unit pounced on a chop-shop in Midway, Soweto, supported by experts from Tracker and Data Dot. 

"According to preliminary investigations, it appears this particular chop shop specialises in Toyota parts gauging by the Quantum and Hilux parts found on the scene. 

"Three trailers also tested positive [of having been stolen or hijacked] while two other vehicles were seized for further testing on suspicion of tampering with vin and/or engine numbers," said SAPS provincial spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele. 

No suspects have yet been arrested. 

"Meanwhile, with this week's operations having kicked off with the tracing of wanted suspects, police were able to trace and arrest 605 suspects in the different districts in Gauteng. 

Among the 605 are suspects who have been on the run from the law and are wanted for rape, assault related to domestic violence, assault with intention to inflict grievous bodily harm, and child neglect," he said. 

Two wanted suspects arrested in Soshanguve and Mabopane during parallel operations in Pretoria, were linked two three other cases reported at the two police stations. 

"From the roadblocks in Dobsonville, police this morning [on Thursday] recovered two stolen vehicles and impounded four taxis," Makhubele said. 

"Police also recovered two unlicensed firearms in Emdeni, Soweto when they stopped and searched a suspicious vehicle with four men whom police believe were on their way to committing a robbery. 

"The four were arrested for possession of unlicensed firearms and their vehicle impounded, and they will be processed to establish linkage to previous crimes," Makhubele said.

Gauteng Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela has commended the integrated law enforcement teams for their commitment, and urged all officers involved in different operations to "keep up the good work" and intensify the fight against crime.

"Maintaining this momentum will take the province a long way in relation to bringing down the volumes of serious and violent crimes. Let us continue to work together and ensure that hardened criminals are removed from society and thrown behind bars where they belong," Mawela said.

African News Agency (ANA)