Three of the four suspects arrested by Gauteng police after a shootout on the R21. Picture: SAPS

Johannesburg - Gauteng police fatally wounded one suspect and arrested four others during a shootout on the R21 on the early hours of Wednesday morning. 

Police said they also recovered two pistols on the scene. 

Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said the suspects had been wanted for alleged theft of motorbikes, boats and caravans in the province. 

“Through police intelligence, information was received that the suspects will be stealing a motorbike somewhere in Pretoria.

“In the early hours of this morning six suspects who were driving a Toyota Hilux with a trailer and a Toyota RunX went to still a motorbike in Wierdebrug, Pretoria.

“Police followed the suspects until the R21 highway towards Kempton Park. As the suspects were accosted they started shooting at the police and a shootout ensued,” said Masondo. 

#sapsGP Suspect fatally wounded and 4 arrested during a shootout with police on the R21 highway earlier this am. #SAPS recovered 2 firearms. Suspects sought icw motorbikes, boats and caravans theft in the province. #TrioCrimes MEhttps://t.co/bbmjYvKAu1 pic.twitter.com/gkbgGXwdE8

— SA Police Service (@SAPoliceService) November 27, 2019

#sapsHQ #SAPSNPC, Gen #Sitole has welcomed the arrest of a group of suspects and praised police in Gauteng for their efforts in breaking the back of what appears to be a theft syndicate. #TrioCrimes #CrimeStop MEhttps://t.co/kBMdGYOV5Z pic.twitter.com/ysItidYJC6

— SA Police Service (@SAPoliceService) November 27, 2019

Police officers from Crime Intelligence, Pretoria K9 Unit, SAPS Highway Patrol and private security took part in the operation. 

The police officers spotted a bakkie towing a trailer carrying a suspected stolen motorbike followed by an escort vehicle with foreign registration plates.

Masondo said one police officer was killed during the shootout, while another had been taken to hospital under police guard. He said three others were arrested on the spot. 

“Two firearms were recovered from the suspects. Police are still searching for the suspect that is still at large,” he said. 

Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole praised the police for the operation and urged members of the public to assist police with information to nab criminals.

"This multi-disciplinary integrated approach has once again proven to be one of the most effective approaches in dealing with crime in this country", said Sitole.

Sunday Independent