Nearly 20 suspects arrested as police foil ‘planned’ truck hijacking in Jozi

Police nabbed a whopping 19 suspects on Wednesday morning in Johannesburg for allegedly planning an armed robbery and truck hijacking. 

Members of the Gauteng Highway Patrol unit together with the Johannesburg North Crime Intelligence, the SAPS Airwing, and the JMPD received information regarding a planned armed robbery, where a truck carrying a consignment of cellphones with an estimated value of about R60 million, would be hijacked. 

POLICE POUNCE ON SUSPECTS ALLEGEDLY PLANNING TO CONDUCT A TRUCK HIJACKING 

SAPS Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said information eventually led the multi-disciplinary team to a house in Old Pretoria Road in Kelvin. 

“It is reported that members of the HP were approaching when suspects started firing shots at them, to which the team retaliated and returned fire,” said Peters.  

A total of 14 suspects, including two women, were arrested while an unconfirmed number of suspects escaped by jumping the walls. 

“Other members who were strategically positioned outside the house gave chase and five more suspects were cornered and arrested at five different scenes in close proximity to the initial crime scene,” added Peters. 

A security guard as well as one suspect, however, was fatally shot. No police officers were injured in the process. 

Even more horrific — it was discovered during the on-site investigation — that one suspect had snatched a seven-month old baby to possibly use the child as a shield during the shootout. Peters said the child has since been found.

SUSPECTS POSSIBLY LINKED TO AN INCIDENT THAT TOOK PLACE IN JANUARY 2021

Peters said preliminary investigations have at this point linked the suspects to an incident in January 2021. 

“Police pounced on suspects at a house in Lombardy East, interrupting the suspected plotting of an aggravated robbery with the recovery of two AK-47 rifles with loaded magazines, an R-1 rifle with two loaded magazines, and two loaded pistols,” said Peters. 

“An investigation by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) is underway as police have reason to believe that these suspects could be behind a spate of business robberies, courier van robberies and cargo truck hijackings,” added Peters.  

Here’s what was recovered from six scenes; 

  • Three R-5 assault rifles; 
  • Two AK-47 assault rifles; 
  • One 303 assault rifle; 
  • Four pistols; 
  • A jamming device; and 
  • Eight vehicles. 

Four of the eight vehicles that were seized were positively confirmed as either hijacked or stolen. 

Image via: Arrive Alive / Twitter

Gauteng Commissioner Lieutenant General Elias Mawela commended the sterling intelligence-driven success by the multi-disciplinary team, highlighting particularly the role played by the Gauteng Highway Patrol Unit members. 

“It is heartwarming to observe how since the relaunching and receiving of a fleet of high powered vehicles from Gauteng Provincial Government, the HP Unit has hit the ground running, delivering significant successes on a daily basis, including the recovery of illegal firearms and patrolling of the freeways across the Province,” said Mawela. 

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Presh JM Reporter

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