CAPE TOWN - An off-duty South African Police Service (SAPS) detective and four other men have been arrested after they were found in possession of alleged stolen vehicles and various illegal firearms in Cape Town, Western Cape police said on Sunday.
A joint operation by the Cape Town K9 unit, the flying squad, and Netstar Tracker company was conducted on Saturday afternoon to trace a vehicle hijacked in a house robbery earlier in the week. The vehicle they were attempting to trace was a white Toyota Carolla Quest sedan, Captain FC van Wyk said.
At about 3.10pm, the officers approached a residence in Friesland Street, Montana in Bishop Lavis, Cape Town, and noticed a Mercedes Benz parked on the pavement in front of the premises and a white Nissan double cab bakkie in the street, he said.
"Upon entering the premises they spotted the Toyota Quest and a number of men in the yard who scattered in various directions when they noticed the police. Three of the men were apprehended and a prohibited firearm was found in the possession of one of them."
At the same time the Nissan that had been parked in front of the house sped off and was pursued by the Netstar helicopter who relayed its movements to police, Van Wyk said.
Meanwhile, officers chased a man who had fled the scene on foot and he was soon apprehended nearby. A bag containing an illegal firearm, a 9mm Norinca pistol, was recovered on the roof of an out-building on the premises. In the backyard the officers also found an open safe.
"The members also searched a Toyota Hiace which was parked in front of the Quest in which they found two more firearms - an R5 and a Luger pistol. Further investigation revealed that the Mercedes Benz that was parked in front of the premises was stolen during a hijacking in Lansdowne last month," he said.
With the guidance of the helicopter the officers pulled the Nissan over in Valhalla Park and apprehended the 36-year-old driver. It was established that he was an off-duty detective driving an official police vehicle and he also had an official police radio in his possession.
"Upon searching the residence the members found a banknote counting machine, pellet and toy guns, and a crow bar. The arrested suspects are aged 28, 36, 47, 50, and the 36-year-old SAPS member. Various specialised SAPS units were on the scene conducting investigations," Van Wyk said.
African News Agency (ANA)