Port Elizabeth – Three men believed to be part of a gang of armed robbers who posed as police officers were arrested on the N2 freeway outside Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.
Police spokesperson Captain Andre Beetge said the flying squad unit had spotted a white VW Polo driving on the freeway outside of Port Elizabeth towards Colchester at around 07:30.
He said the officers had been suspicious of the vehicle as the licence plates had appeared falsified and the three occupants began acting suspiciously when the police started following them.
“The driver of the VW Polo increased speed and a short chase ensued, until the police members forced the vehicle off the road… just before Colchester,” he said.
Beetge said when the officers approached the vehicle, one of the passengers threw a firearm out of the window.
“All three suspects were arrested and the firearm confiscated.”
Posing as SAPS members
“On further searching the vehicle, a police blue light, police uniform belt, cuffs, two magazine pouches, police issued pepper spray, two balaclavas and cable ties were found and confiscated,” he said.
Beetge said the firearm had been loaded with five live rounds.
“This police equipment may not be privately owned and was confiscated as stolen property,” he said.
Beetge said over the past few months many armed robberies and vehicle hijackings had taken place in the Nelson Mandela Bay area where the perpetrators had used blue lights while posing as SAPS members, leading to them being called the “Blue Light Gang”.
“The possibility that these men belong to the… gang will be thoroughly investigated to determine if they are possibly linked to the various incidences of robberies and hijackings,” he said.
He said the men would appear before the Motherwell Magistrate’s Court on Friday on initial charges of the illegal possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition, as well as possession of stolen property.