An alert police officer spotted and recovered a hijacked truck that was carrying a R3 million load and arrested the alleged hijacker at Koppies near the Vaal Plaza in the Freestate on Tuesday.
Freestate SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele said an alert police officer had managed to recover a truck suspected to have been hijacked at Koppies and arrested a suspicious man who was found in the hijacked truck.
“Warrant Officer Gielie Strauss spotted a truck parked next to the road, on the off-ramp from R59 towards the Vaal Plaza and left it there,” Makhele said.
Makhele said that later that day at around 10.25pm, the SAPS Gauteng Response Unit had reported that a truck owner had reported that he had picked up that the driver that was driving his truck is not his driver. This raised the suspicion that the truck the officer had spotted earlier might be the same truck.
“When WO Strauss went back to the truck he found that the truck fit the description of the possible hijacked truck. This time he found an African male at the truck. Upon interrogation, the man said that the truck was hijacked,” Makhele said.
“The owner was informed and he came to the scene. While still at the scene, the original driver arrived at the Engen One Stop with his hands tied up and signs of injuries on the face,” Makhele said.
The legitimate truck driver reported that at approximately 7.20pm that unknown suspects had forced him to stop the truck at the Koppies Rooiwal off-ramp. The suspects were driving a red Hyundai i10 with a blue light in the front window.
“He thought they were traffic department officials,” Makhele said.
Makhele said the truck driver had alleged that hijackers had held him up at gunpoint and forced him back into the truck.
“He said they drove for a while, stopped and offloaded him in the field where two males guarded him while one left with a truck. They were allegedly picked up by an unknown vehicle. He then walked to the N1 road and walked to the Engen One Stop where he reported the incident,” Makhele said.
Makhele said the police officer arrested the 39-year old suspect, who was found seated in the hijacked truck. Police also confiscated the Freightliner truck with two trailers containing a load valued at about R3 000 000.
The alleged hijacker will be charged for truck hijacking and will appear in the Koppies Magistrates’ Court on Friday 17 September 2021.