A Port Elizabeth man and woman were arrested only 20 minutes after they allegedly robbed a man in his Francis Evatt Park home when they stopped to fill the stolen car with petrol during their escape.
The 27-year-old home owner was held hostage inside his Masson Road house by the two men and a woman shortly before 3am on Wednesday.
The two were caught shortly after the robbery when they stopped at the Linton Grange Caltex garage to fill the car – that they had just stolen – with petrol.
Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said the man woke up when he heard noises at his front door.
“The man opened the door and was confronted by three people. He recognised the woman and one of the men so let them into the house,” she said.
“When they entered the house, one of the men pulled out a firearm. The home owner was tied up with an electrical cord while the suspects loaded the television into his Opel Corsa Lite car.”
Naidu said the man managed to break free and alert the police.
“Police arrived at the house and got details of the stolen vehicle. Within 20 minutes, the K9 Unit spotted the stolen Corsa at the Caltex Garage in Linton Grange,” she said.
“The man and woman were sitting in the car at the time.
Police blocked the car and arrested the suspects – a 22-year-old woman and a 38-year-old man. The woman had a loaded pistol in her possession.
“The television was found in the back of the car and the stolen cellphone in possession of the male suspect.
“The police searched the suspects and found the loaded firearm on the woman. It has since been established that the firearm was not reported stolen and in fact belongs to her grandfather,” Naidu added.
“The grandfather whose firearm it is will now form part of the investigation. If he cannot give a valid reason as to how his granddaughter came to be in possession of his firearm, he will be charged for contravention of the Firearm Control Act and be taken to court.”
“The television was found in the back of the car and the stolen cellphone in possession of the male suspect.”
One suspect is still at large but is expected to be arrested soon.
Mount Road cluster commander Major-General Thembisile Patekile welcomed the arrest and said the cluster detective Trio Task Team had taken over the probe.
The two will appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Friday for a range of charges linked to the robbery.