Gauteng police arrested a man believed to be the kingpin of a syndicate behind the theft and hijacking of “high-calibre” vehicles which are taken across the border.
The suspect, a foreign national, was found with suspected stolen vehicles after being cornered in Johannesburg on Thursday.
Police received information that the suspect would be at a shopping mall where he usually operates from, spokesperson Lt-Col Mavela Masondo said.
A team from various law enforcement agencies including crime intelligence, Tracker Connect, Bad Boyz Security and Hollard Insurance intercepted the suspect.
“The team kept close observation and spotted the suspect arriving at a shopping mall, driving a grey Mercedes-Benz that he parked in the basement. He then went to a white Ford Ranger that was also parked in the basement and drove off with it,” said Masondo.
The team pounced on the man as he was trying to leave the mall. It was discovered that the Ford Ranger was stolen in Alexandra. The Mercedes-Benz had been hijacked in the Moffat View area, south of Joburg.
The team ended up at the suspect’s residence, and found a white Toyota Fortuner, which had signs of having been tampered with. Multiple vehicle registration documents and passports were also discovered and seized.
The suspect is charged with possession of suspected stolen or hijacked vehicles and will appear at the Roodepoort magistrate’s court on Monday, said Masondo.
“More suspects might be arrested pending further investigation. Gauteng provincial commissioner Lt-Gen Elias Mawela applauded the team that worked so hard to locate and arrest the suspect. Lt-Gen Mawela ordered the police to conduct a thorough investigation and profile the suspect as he might be part of a bigger syndicate,” Lt-Col Masondo said.
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