Police nab grenade suspects

GAUTENG police have made a breakthrough in the case involving 70 hand grenades allegedly stolen from an unmarked army bakkie that was transporting them to the Wallmansthal Military Base near Hammanskraal last month.

Three suspects, aged between 25 and 34 years, were arrested for theft and possession of hand illumination grenades stolen at a petrol station on the N1 freeway in the early hours of July 4.

Police also recovered 11 of the stolen grenades and more arrests were expected. Colonel Lungelo Dlamini of the Gauteng police said yesterday the suspects were arrested in Lyttelton and Sinoville in Pretoria on Tuesday.

They are expected to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court today.

The theft took place when two employees of Rheinmetall Denel Munitions in the Western Cape, who were transporting the explosives to the Wallmansthal base, decided to take a nap in the filling station's parking lot as they had arrived much earlier than the delivery time of 8am.

Dlamini said: "Their van was broken into. About 70 grenades were stolen by an unknown number of suspects. The grenades were stored in two crates of 35 each."

He said the pyrotechnic grenades were not regarded as dangerous. An investigative team received a tip-off and set up an operation to recover the grenades.

"One suspect was arrested in Lyttelton and one grenade was recovered. Investigations led police to two other suspects and where they recovered 10 grenades, bringing the total to 11 recovered so far."

Dlamini appealed to anyone with information to contact SAPS Crime Stop at 0860-010-111.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.