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Trio nabbed 'stealing fuel' at depot

Three suspects have been arrested in Mpumalanga after being caught allegedly draining diesel from a depot tanker into a truck.
Three suspects have been arrested in Mpumalanga after being caught allegedly draining diesel from a depot tanker into a truck.
Image: SAPS

Three suspects have been arrested for “stealing fuel” during a business robbery at a depot in eMkhondo (formerly Piet Retief).

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brig Selvy Mohlala said the trio is expected to appear at the eMkhondo magistrate’s court on Friday on charges of business robbery and possession of suspected stolen property, with a possibility of more charges being added.

According to information, police in the area received a complaint about the incident.

“The members immediately attended to the matter and upon arrival at the scene discovered suspects were draining diesel from a depot tanker into a truck,” said Mohlala.

“It is further alleged that four employees were tied with shoelaces, then locked in the guard room. Five suspects were spotted. They reportedly started to run when they noticed police officers. However, the members gave chase and arrested two of the suspects.”

Police continued to pursue the suspects and arrested the third, who was cornered while driving a VW Polo with Lesotho registration plates, he added.

“The car was spotted towards Ermelo, followed, then cornered. The suspect was found in possession of a firearm. It was licensed, but police confiscated the weapon for investigation to establish if it was used in the commission of crime elsewhere.”

Mohlala said it was discovered the vehicle identification numbers of the truck used by the suspects were filed off, with investigators connecting the dots to determine the vehicle's owner.

Provincial SAPS commissioner Lt-Gen Semakaleng Daphney Manamela commended officers for their work.

“Indeed our fight against crime, especially violent crime, is yielding positive results. It is, however, concerning to learn that licensed owners of firearms are allegedly using those weapons to commit crime. The law must deal decisively with this, without fear or favour,” said Manamela.

TimesLIVE


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