Hijacking suspects arrested

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

Seven suspected members of a car hijacking syndicate who were arrested at the weekend will have to stay longer in custody while police investigate whether they are linked to more crimes.

The men were arrested at a tavern outside Polokwane on Sunday night after being found in possession of a hijacked vehicle.

They had allegedly hijacked a bakkie from a man on Saturday night in Polokwane.

The men are alleged to have driven their victim around at gunpoint until one of them had to answer a call of nature.

Police spokesman Captain Mohlaka Mashiane said the hijacked man escaped while the other man was relieving himself.

He reported the case to the police, who then dispatched a team to search for the suspects.

"Our investigations led to a tavern at Extension 71 near Polokwane. We went there and found the men," said Mashiane.

He said when the police arrived, one of the suspects, who is said to have been the driver, tried to escape but was shot in the shoulder. The man, aged 30, is recovering at a local hospital under police guard.

He said police were still gathering more information about the suspects' activities with the hope of pressing further charges against them.

The suspects' ages range between 19 and 34.

"They will appear in court as soon as we complete our verification process to determine whether they could be linked to other cases," he said.

Mashiane called on residents of Polokwane to assist the police with any information that could result in solving similar crimes in the area.