Stolen pigs lead to N1 AM shoot-out

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Photo: Lucky Nkuyane

Bloemfontein police have nabbed five people, including a police detective, in a stock-theft drama that escalated into an N1 shoot-out in the early hours of Monday morning.

Police spokesperson in the Free State capital, Thabo Covane, tells OFM News, police received a tip-off regarding an alleged plot to steal live stock from a farm in Petrusburg, on Sunday. At around 04:20 the next day, authorities received a call to head in the N8 direction as the suspects had just stolen the stock and were making their way back to Bloemfontein in a Ford Ikon. Covane reveals things came to a head, when police spotted the Ikon, which is a state vehicle, belonging to the Free State Department of Police, Roads and Transport.

In a dramatic twist of events, a police chase ensued as the Ikon sped off heading down the off-ramp joining N1 road North lane from the N8, proceeding to drive in the direction of oncoming traffic. The driver is believed to have shortly thereafter lost control and ended up in the bushes between the lanes on the N1. It is then that a shoot-out between the driver of the vehicle and police began. Covane says “the police managed to arrest three men, between the ages of 35 and 40, with the driver fleeing the scene”. Seven pigs were recovered in the boot of the state-owned sedan.

Following some interrogation, the apprehended suspects led police to their alleged crime partners in a Silver VW Polo stranded on the N8, due to an empty fuel tank, with two more suspects – also between the above-mentioned age range – inside the car. One of these two men is a detective in Bloemfontein. The Polo suspects did not have pigs with them as they had been alerted to free the stolen stock. It is believed they were alerted by the sixth suspect and driver of the Ikon, who remains at large, but is suspected to be injured, after police found a blood trail.

“The five men are facings charges of possession of presumably stolen property/ livestock. Another docket of Attempted murder was registered at Park Road Police Station”. The OFM News team was at the scene of the incident, as police were wrapping up their investigations into the matter.

They are expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court soon.

Olebogeng Motse / OFM News