“At about 01:00 a 43-year-old suspect was arrested after police descended on a diesel depot in Vanderbijlpark in the Vaal area of Gauteng. Upon arrival, the suspects sped off in a white Toyota Hilux Legend 50. One suspect was arrested following a high-speed chase and shootout with the police. The other suspect fled on foot and escaped,”
Police recovered one 9mm pistol with ammunition and the getaway Toyota Hilux bakkie.
The team of officers resumed the investigation at the Gauteng depot and confiscated three tankers.
Mojapelo says police believe the trucks were filled with the same diesel stolen from the Louis Trichardt diesel depot.
A fourth truck was intercepted at the Lebombo border to Mozambique later at about 08:30 on Friday and a 38-year-old suspect was arrested.
Police have opened cases of attempted murder, reckless and negligent driving and possession of unlawful firearm and ammunition, armed robbery and possession of suspected stolen properties. The suspects will soon appear before various magistrates courts.
Mojapelo requests the owner of the Vaal depot, William Macholo, to go to the nearest police station as it is believed he can assist with investigations.
The Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has applauded the members of the Task Team for their meticulous investigation.
HOSTAGES, ATTEMPTED MURDER AND STOLEN MILLIONS
It is alleged that on Saturday, 07 May, the manager of the Louis Trichardt depot that sells diesel in bulk opened the gate for a truck. It drove into the premises under the guise of buying diesel.
Police say once in the depot the occupants alighted the truck armed with firearms and took the remote control from the manager. They also stole his cellphones and R6 000 cash.
The other four employees at the depot were also robbed, bound with cable ties and kept in separate rooms. Police say a 43-year-old company driver was discovered shot and rushed to hospital in critical condition.
It is believed six trucks entered the depot, filled up about R5.5 million diesel and left,
The search for the remaining suspects continues. Police investigations are continuing.