Gauteng police reacted swiftly to a double truck hijacking in Midrand by pursuing the suspects to multiple scenes on Tuesday afternoon. One suspect was fatally wounded, a second suspect was wounded and a third one arrested.
Two trucks transporting thousands of cellphones were on the K101 road when they were hijacked by an unconfirmed number of armed suspects travelling in three vehicles.
Police were called and officers immediately traced the first truck to President Park, where they found the suspects off-loading the cargo and loading it onto their truck. The suspects fled the scene, abandoning their Isuzu bakkie in which police found a set of number plates, jamming devices and the magazine of a R5 rifle.
Police followed up information on the second truck and intercepted a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.
A shootout ensued between the suspects and the police.
One of the suspects was shot and certified dead on the scene, a second suspect was injured and taken to hospital under police guard, and a third suspect who attempted to flee the scene was caught and taken into custody. No police members were injured.
Officers found more cellphones in the Sprinter, said police.
“The owner of the hijacked trucks and cargo positively identified the stolen property as his company’s.”
The suspects will be charged with attempted murder, possession of stolen property, and possession of hijacked trucks. More charges may be added and there is the possibility of more arrests pending further investigations. The suspects will appear before the Midrand magistrate’s court soon.
Acting provincial police commissioner Maj-Gen Patricia Rampota commended the officers for their swift response to the crime. She urged all law enforcement agencies in Gauteng to adopt a similar “agility and responsiveness” in addressing the usually violent trio crimes – house robberies, business robberies and vehicle hijackings.
“With the festive season right on our doorstep, criminals are demonstrating with each violent incident that they will not hesitate to shoot and kill the police, or anyone who may be an obstacle in their criminal activities. Our members must therefore be operationally and tactically savvy at all times, ensuring their own safety while protecting and serving our communities,” said Rampota.