An off-duty police officer was among three people arrested at a roadblock and found in possession of suspected stolen property near Thohoyandou, Limpopo, at the weekend.
Two men and a woman were stopped at a roadblock in Makuya village while travelling in a Mazda light-delivery-vehicle double cab.
Police spokesman Inspector Mashudu Madida said the police a searched the vehicle in which the three were travelling and discovered solar panel band cutting equipmenthidden in the car. The value of the property was estimated at R15000.
The arrest was made at around 3am on Saturday.
Madida identified the suspects as a police constable attached to the Musina border post, an unknown man and a Zimbabwean woman.
He said the woman was allegedly having an affair with the officer.
"The officer was driving the car when they were pulled over at the roadblock," Madida said.
He said the police were busy with intensive investigations since there had been several incidents of theft of solar panels at schools and other places in the past two months.
"We suspect the arrested people might be linked to the thefts," he said.
The suspects are expected to appear in the Thohoyandou magistrate's court today.
"We would like to thank members of the community for providing us with information on a regular basis about the theft of solar panels," Madida said.
"It is a shame for a cop to engage in criminal activity.
"This kind of behaviour only serves to embarrass the police service.
"We hope that the law will take its course so that other would-be criminal officers can learn a lesson."