Mpumalanga police on Wednesday arrested a man wanted for more than two years in connection with the theft of vehicles.
Some of the stolen cars belonged to police officials in the Bushbuckridge area.
The 26-year-old man was with his accomplices when the Mhala police took them by surprise in the bushes at Tsuvulani village near Thulamahashe on Wednesday afternoon.
Police had received information about a group of people who were apparently intending to strip a red Nissan Sentra of its parts in the bushes.
"We immediately rushed to the scene where we found a group of people. They ran away as soon as they saw us," said Mhala police spokesman Constable Robert Makhubele yesterday.
"We chased them and eventually arrested the 26-year-old man while the others managed to escape into the bush."
He said the suspect was found in possession of a gun that had been stolen from a Pakistani businessman operating in Thulamahashe township.
The gun had been stolen two months ago. The robbers had also robbed the businessman of an undisclosed amount of cash and a BMW sedan that was later recovered in Phalaborwa.
Makhubele said the suspect was one of the most wanted men in the Bushbuckridge area.
He said police were trying to positively link him to the theft of at least two vehicles belonging to Mhala police officers.