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Pretoria - Police around the country have arrested hundreds of suspects, confiscated a large number of firearms, and recovered almost 90 stolen vehicles in connection with so-called "trio crimes" over the past few months, the South Africa Police Service (SAPS) said on Sunday.

The trio crimes combating interventions put in place to intensify the prevention and investigation of house robberies, business robberies, and hijackings, as well as to trace and apprehend the perpetrators of these crimes had been yielding significant results, SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said.

The teams in Gauteng, the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, and Kwazulu-Natal, which had the highest contributing stations in terms of reported incidents of trio crimes, had worked tirelessly and in so doing made notable strides during a three-month period, he said.

The teams included members from crime intelligence, visible policing, the tactical response team, public order police, the detective services, and the organised crime unit. For the period June to August this year the teams arrested more than 307 suspects and confiscated 43 firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and recovered 88 stolen or hijacked vehicles. 

One of the notable recent successes was the arrest of three business robbery suspects aged between 29 and 43 by the Gauteng team.

"The three were swiftly arrested a day after they had committed a robbery at Telkom, Wonder Park Mall in Pretoria. The police confiscated suspected stolen goods, unlicensed firearms and ammunition, a jamming device, and recovered a hijacked vehicle which was suspected to have been used to commit the robbery. The speedy arrest of the perpetrators demonstrates the commitment and dedication of these trio crime combatting Interventions," Naidoo said.   

Over and above the successes, a total of 8919 vehicle check points were conducted with over 60 000 vehicles, over 163 000 people, and nearly 3000 premises being searched. 

"The above mentioned activities, which are conducted constantly, form an integral part of policing and they are going to be intensified with joint operations with our colleagues from various other government departments as we head towards the festive season in a few weeks time," he said.

"While we gear up for these operations we call upon all people in South Africa to continue assisting the police in its efforts to combat crimes. Some of the ways people can be of assistance is to remain vigilant at all times and provide the police with information on all criminal activities, preferably before they are committed.

"People may call our Crime Stop number 08600-10111 with such information. Callers may remain anonymous and all information will be treated with strictest confidence," Naidoo said.