The man was shot in the head but survived and is currently in hospital.
Police say the drama unfolded on Tuesday just after 5.30am after the man broke into a flat in the Elsies River area and was seen fleeing with the stolen goods.
As he was passing Stratford Place in Leonsdale, he was shot by an unknown gunman.
It is not clear if the shooting is gang-related, or if the shooter lives in the flat that was broken into.
Cops say the wounded man was rushed to a nearby hospital.
Police spokesperson, Captain FC van Wyk, explains: “On their arrival, members found a male victim lying on his back with a gunshot wound on the left side of his head.
“The victim stays at Leichester Place in Leonsdale.
“It is alleged that the victim broke into a nearby flat and fled with his stolen items.
“When he came past Stratford Place he was shot by an unidentified suspect. Various items were found next to the victim and handed in as evidence.
“A case of attempted murder was opened for investigation. The motive and circumstances are under investigation.
“Currently this is not handled as a gang-related incident.”