Eastern Cape police today said officers have arrested seven suspects after three separate carjackings in Port Elizabeth.
Police spokesperson, Captain Andre Beetge, said the suspects were arrested on Thursday.
Beetge said in the first incident on Thursday a white Hyundai H100 delivery vehicle was hijacked in Ranisi Street, NU8, Motherwell by three armed suspects.
The vehicle was busy doing deliveries of fridges in the area at 14:30 when the driver and his assistant were hijacked at gunpoint.
“They were forced onto the back of the vehicle and driven off by the suspects. At the first traffic lights they managed to jump off the vehicle safely and run away to alert police. The vehicle was recovered an hour later at 15:30 when it was found abandoned in Mvubu street, NU1, Motherwell.”
At around the same time, a white Isuzu bakkie used as a courier delivery vehicle was hijacked at gunpoint by two armed suspects in Mbeki Avenue, Govan Mbeki while the driver was delivering parcels.
Beetge said the vehicle was found abandoned less than 10 minutes later in Bart Street, Ezinyoka.
At 15:15 another delivery vehicle delivering cosmetic products was hijacked at Captain Street, NU10, Motherwell.
Beetge said two armed suspects forced the driver and his assistant out of the vehicle at gunpoint and drove off with the white Nissan NP200 bakkie loaded with boxes containing cosmetics.
Police said the suspects also robbed the complainants of 4 cellphones.
Less than a hour later at 16:00 the Motherwell Cluster Operational Command Centre (OCC) members found the vehicle abandoned in Mbokwana Street, NU10, Motherwell without its cargo.
“After speedy following up of information, Ikamvelihle police searched a house in Ingwe Street, NU1 and the cargo of boxes containing the cosmetics were discovered and confiscated. The four cellphones of the complainants were also recovered. On further searching of the premises, two firearms, a .38 revolver and a 9mm pistol with 12 rounds ammunition were discovered hidden in cupboards.”
Seven suspects, including a 38-year-old female, were arrested.
Beetge said the value of the goods recovered are estimated at about R300 000.
The suspects are expected to appear in the Motherwell Magistrate’s Court on Monday facing charges of possession of stolen property and illegal possession of unlicensed firearms.
Beetge said the suspects will also be investigated to determine their possible involvement in the other hijacking cases.
The Motherwell Cluster Commander, Major General Dawie Rabie, applauded the arrests .
“We (SAPS) are clearing our streets of illegal firearms. In this last week we have recovered 14 fire ms including a shotgun and a rifle that was stolen in a Pearston case. We have also arrested 14 suspects for illegal possession of these firearms and a further two suspects were killed in shootouts while committing robberies using fire arms, “said Rabie.
– African News Agency (ANA)