The suspected thief died on Tuesday night near the businessman's warehouse in the Veldspaat industrial area.
According to Polokwane police spokesman Warrant Officer Lesiba Ramoshaba, the businessman's premises had been broken into and liquor stolen.
He said the 30-year-old businessman reportedly noticed a group of people leaving his premises and allegedly chased after them in his car.
"One of them was run over and died instantly," the spokesman said.
The businessman has been charged with culpable homicide and the docket sent to the director for public prosecutions for a decision on whether to prosecute.
"Circumstances that led to the killing of the victim are still the subject of police investigations," Ramashaba said.