Three stolen hunting rifles were found buried in the backyard of a Port Elizabeth shack on Friday morning.
The firearms were part of a collection of five rifles and one handgun stolen from a game farm in the Steytlerville area last weekend.
Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said the bust came after a farm house was burgled, while no one was at the farm, last Saturday.The game farm falls under the policing area of Wolwefontein police station near Steytlerville.
The seven day investigation led them to arrest three suspects during the week and recover three of the stolen firearms on Friday morning.
Naidu said that the discovery of the burglary came after a person looking after the farm arrived there last Saturday and noticed the vehicle parked in a different place.
“He alerted the owner who was in Uitenhage and on his arrival, they discovered that the house had been broken into,” she said.
“Entry was gained by breaking a window. The safe was forced opened during the burglary and several firearms were stolen.”
After the burglary, local farming neighbourhood watches – together with local police – received information on who the burglars were and posted the suspects’ pictures on their internal social media security groups.
Naidu said that by Thursday, one of the neighbourhood watch members spotted one of the suspects in a bakkie in Cape Road. Police were called and the 25-year-old man arrested.
“After his arrest, more leads were followed and this took officials to Kamesh in Uitenhage. With the assistance of Kamesh police members, another suspect, between 20 and 30 years, was arrested while walking in the street.”
Both men were arrested for burglary and are “well known” and have been previously arrested by police in the Wolwefontein area.
“At about 6am on Friday morning, police from Kabega Park police station and the K9 unit went to the Erica Dien informal settlement – in Greenbushes on Cape Road near Reserve Road – and searched two shacks.
“Nothing was found inside the shacks however police continued to search when they spotted a freshly dug hole about 10 meters from the shack, in the back garden area. On digging up the hole, three rifles were found buried in the ground and wrapped in a blanket,” she said.
The man living at the house was arrested for possession of stolen property and illegal possession of firearms.
Naidu said the other three rifles and handgun were still being sought by police.
All three men are due to appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Monday before the case is transferred to Wolwefontein police.