A police constable and friends allegedly held up a tuck shop at gunpoint and stole cigarettes.
Cape Town - A police officer and his two buddies were nabbed after they allegedly stole cigarettes using police-issue firearms.

Police say the Gugulethu-based constable and his two friends, both employed by Pick n Pay, were caught with three firearms, ammunition and cigarettes.

The 24-year-old cop, who cannot be named yet, was a new recruit, and part of the Nyanga Cluster Stabilisation Unit.

It is alleged that on Wednesday, he booked out an R5 rifle and two 9mm firearms before fetching one of his friends, an 18-year-old man from Manenberg.

The duo were driving a blue VW Golf and allegedly stopped at a Somali-owned tuck shop in 35 Section, N2 Gateway, where they held staff at gunpoint and stole two cartons of Chicago and JFK cigarettes.

Their luck ran out when police responded to the robbery complaint and spotted the blue Golf in the Leiden area in Delft.

Cops gave chase and cornered them inside the car.

A quick search of the car yielded two 9mm firearms with two magazines and 30 rounds of ammunition.

Upon further interrogation, the man admitted that he was a police constable.

He then informed his colleagues that he had also booked out an R5 rifle and gave police an address in Leiden.

Here, police found the rifle and ammunition hidden between a bed base and mattress.

A third suspect, a 26-year-old man, was arrested at the house.

The friends both work for Pick n Pay Distributors warehouse in Philippi, police confirmed.

Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk says they are shocked at the incident.

“The arrest of a police member for the commission of a crime sends shockwaves through the rank and file of the police, but it also indicates that criminals will never find a safe haven in the police,” said Van Wyk.

“The suspects aged, 18, 24 and 26, will face charges of business robbery, unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of suspected stolen property.”

They are expected to appear at the Bellville Magistrates’ Court on Friday.