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Car ‘thieves’ on attack in Helderberg

Four suspected robbers believed to be on the prowl in a vehicle hijacked at the weekend were apprehended in Strand earlier this week.

According to police, the incident was reported at 09:30 on Tuesday (21 July), when members of the provincial dog unit noticed the suspicious vehicle while conducting patrols in the Strand policing precinct, and set off in pursuit of the blue Toyota Yaris with a false Gauteng registration in Oosterlig Street.

“The suspects, on realising they were being pursued, stopped the vehicle and attempted to flee,” the police report says. “Police members chased after them and four suspects were arrested.”

A total of 17 warning shots were fired by members of the dog unit, National Intervention Unit (NIU) and command personnel in pursuit.

Police confirmed no injuries were reported nor any state property damaged in the incident.

A Walther PPK firearm, its serial number filed off, was found in the vehicle reportedly hijacked in Athlone on Saturday (18 July).

The suspects, aged between 21 and 24, were charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and an illegal firearm, and are expected to appear in the Strand Magistrates’ Court today (Thursday).

More examples of good policing leading to successful arrests include a shoot-out and wild pursuit through busy Helderberg streets on Friday 12 June, which resulted in the arrest of a suspected vehicle thief.

A 32-year-old man from Strand was apprehended after he was spotted driving a green Toyota Hilux bakkie believed to have been “carjacked”. It was rammed off the road in a high-speed chase involving armed response officers and police in Somerset West on 12 June.

Responders set off in pursuit of the suspect after an alert Strand resident, who witnessed her neighbour being robbed of his vehicle outside his Jansen Street home, circulated details of the incident on social media (“‘Carjacker’ arrested”, DistrictMail, Thursday 18 June).

A day earlier (11 June) Gordon’s Bay Security (GBSec) armed response officers played an instrumental role in apprehending two suspected car thieves, who were spotted driving a stolen car to a Strand shopping centre (“Suspected car thieves nabbed red handed”, 18 June).

The alert officers apparently noticed the men spotting a vehicle of the same model and make, a Toyota Corolla, and swooped on the suspects who had followed the vehicle they targeted and parked right next to it in the parking area of the Goede Hoop shopping centre.

The men, aged 32 and 40, from Mitchell’s Plain and Hanover Park, respectively, were apprehended and arrested by Strand police. The recovered vehicle was apparently stolen in Diep River the day before.

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