Blue-light hijackers linked to a spate of crime nabbed

Three suspected blue-light hijackers whose ages range between 30 and 40 are expected to appear in the Thembisa Magistrates’ Court on Monday, February 8, following their arrests on Friday (February 5).

The trio will face charges of possession of illegal firearm, live ammunition and police uniform while investigations continue towards linking them to more crimes.  

“The Ekurhuleni District trio task team operationalized information relating to the whereabouts of suspects involved in business robberies, as well as blue-light truck hijackings and robberies on the R21 freeway. A subsequent joint intelligence-driven operation with the Tactical Response Team and Flying Squad led the team to three addresses in Thembisa where the three suspects were arrested,” said the police in a statement.

During the arrests police recovered two firearms, one of them illegal, live ammunition and SAPS uniform items.

Both firearms will be taken in for ballistic testing in anticipation of possible linkage to previous serious and violent crimes.

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A white VW Polo was also seized at one of the addresses for further investigation to establish whether the vehicle could have been used during the commission of the said hijackings and robberies. 

Determined to build a watertight case that will stand in court, the task team worked around the clock since the arrest of the suspects on Friday and have thus far been able to link one of the suspects to a series of serious and violent crimes including several murder cases and armed robberies committed between 2017 and 2020 in Brakpan, Kwa-Thema, and Tsakane, on which he was arrested and absconded bail. 

The investigation has at this point also confirmed that the three suspects are due back in Court on 22 February 2021 for an August 2020, Springs business robbery case. 

Gauteng Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela commended the team for their relentless efforts in contributing positively to his priority to bring down the volumes of serious and violent crimes in the Province, as well as strengthening relations between police and communities who continue to play a pivotal role in the fight against crime by providing valuable tip-offs that lead to the apprehension of hardened criminals and as in this case, repeat offenders.

“The investigators must now work closely with the Prosecutors to ensure that no bail is granted to these suspects. These suspects are proof that most of the serious and violent crime in Gauteng is committed by repeat offenders who are under the illusion that they can get away with murder,” said the Provincial Commissioner.

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