Woman arrested in high-speed chase after snatching keys from police

City of Tshwane spokesperson Selby Bokaba. Picture: Masi Losi

City of Tshwane spokesperson Selby Bokaba. Picture: Masi Losi

Published Mar 14, 2024


In a dramatic turn of events, a female motorist was arrested during a high-speed chase after she allegedly snatched keys of a vehicle belonging to the Tshwane Metro Police Department and fled while the officer was busy writing down a traffic violation fine for her.

The incident took place on Monday afternoon when the officer was driving along Francis Baard Street approaching Thabo Sehume Street in the Pretoria inner city.

The officer is a VIP protector assigned to City of Tshwane city manager Johann Mettler and the woman has been identified as senior manager at a subsidiary of one of the water boards.

Municipal spokesperson Selby Bokaba said a VIP protector came across a motorist allegedly obstructing traffic in a Mercedes-Benz sedan in the CBD.

“The police official activated a siren and signalled to the female motorist to move in order to avoid obstructing traffic, but she allegedly refused to obey his instruction. He stepped out of the vehicle, approached her, and showed her his appointment certificate,” he said.

Bokaba said the officer informed the woman that he was going to issue her with a traffic fine.

While he was busy writing down the fine, the woman allegedly grabbed the official vehicle’s keys, removed them from the ignition and drove off.

Bokaba said the police official was left stranded in the inner city, and Mettler was engaged in a meeting when the incident happened.

“The police official immediately called his supervisor from the planning section and informed him of the incident, and the supervisor, together with freeway patrol, located the suspect through the vehicle’s tracking system and chased her on the R21 south,” he said.

He said the woman allegedly kept ignoring the police’s instruction to bring her rental car to a halt during the high-speed chase.

When she ultimately stopped, police politely requested her to hand over the keys of a state vehicle. She allegedly refused.

Bokaba said: “She drove off again, apparently in a rush to catch a flight, and police gave chase and eventually apprehended her at the OR Tambo International Airport.”

The woman was taken to the Pretoria Central police station where a case docket of common robbery and theft was opened against her with CAS number 347/03/2024.

She was briefly detained and later released.

Bokaba said she allegedly refused to sign the 299 form – a form completed when issuing back SAPS 13 items to the owner.

“The keys of the official state vehicle were also recovered from the suspect, who is a senior manager at a subsidiary of one of the water boards. The city manager was engaged in a meeting at the office when this incident happened, and the vehicle assigned to him wasn’t involved either as its keys had been snatched by the suspect,” he said.

Pretoria News