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Pretoria - A suspected car thief was shot and wounded following a police chase which included a helicopter near the Murrayhill toll plaza in Pretoria on Tuesday, Gauteng police said.

The chase started when police spotted a suspicious-looking Toyota Fortuner in Bronkhorstspruit, Lieutenant Kay Makhubela said.

“They followed the car and it went on to the N1 freeway... A chopper also assisted in trying to stop the car.”

The car went through the toll plaza, then returned to the N1.

The helicopter blocked the car's way and fired shots at it, causing it to stop behind the toll gate.

“When the police opened the car it was full of fake cigarettes.”

One of the two occupants, both Zimbabwean, was wounded and taken to hospital, where he remains under police guard.

The other was arrested and would appear in court soon to face charges of possession of a stolen vehicle and illicit cigarettes.