A 46-year-old man, who happened to be a fugitive, was arrested by the police for alleged battery theft worth an estimated R900 000 in the Eastern Cape on Monday, 2 August. A multidisciplinary team made up of the Queenstown Crime Intelligence (CIG), K9 Unit and members from Comfimvaba and Bridge Camp made the arrest. The Hawks and Queenstown Serious Organised Crime Investigators arrived later to take the investigation further.
According to Hawks spokesperson, Captain Yolisa Mgolodela, Queenstown CIG members received a tip-off about a “suspicious-looking” white Isuzu bakkie driving towards Cofimvaba via Banana Bridge.
“As soon as the driver realised that he was being followed, he accelerated and sped off,” said Mgolodela. The CIG called for backup and a car chase ensued. During the course of the pursuit, the suspect leapt from the bakkie and headed for the Moya locality in Cofimvaba but he couldn’t escape the officers and was pursued and apprehended, according to the Hawks.
Thirty batteries with an estimated value of R900 000 were found loaded in the back of the vehicle, said Mgolodela. Preliminary investigations found that the batteries were stolen from Telkom towers in Heaven Hills, Amalinda and Voorpos in East London.
According to the Hawks, the suspect is a fugitive that has been on the run since escaping lawful custody in Queenstown in 2016. He is also allegedly linked to the hijacking of a truck that was carrying sheep wool in Fort Beaufort.
The suspect is expected to appear before the Cofimvaba Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, 4 August, and will remain in police custody until his first appearance.