police stock theft

Freestate police arrested three suspects for stock theft on Thursday. Photograph: SAPS

Police arrest three suspects recover R220 000 worth of cattle

Freestate police swooped on stock thieves and recovered 11 head of Bonsmara cattle that the suspects were transporting in a truck.

police stock theft

Freestate police arrested three suspects for stock theft on Thursday. Photograph: SAPS

Freestate police officers have arrested three suspects after an intense crime intelligence led investigation about planned livestock theft at a farm near Wesselsbron..

SAPS regional spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele said that a multiple disciplined joint investigation team had swooped on the suspects this week. This was after police had received a tip off about the plot to steal livestock from the local farm.

“A joint team comprising of Odendaalsrus Stock Theft and Endangered Species, Welkom Crime Intelligence, Smithfield Crime Intelligence, Welkom Public Order Policing Reaction Team and Rural Safety Coordinator of Wesselsbron was mobilised and a way-lay conducted on Thursday 16 September 2021,” Makhele said.

Makhele said police had waited in the area from around 1.20pm, not far from the farm that the suspects were expected to target near Wesselsbron. 

“At about 5:45am members spotted a white Mercedes Benz Truck with cattle on board,” Makhele said.

He said the police officers had then approached the truck and three men immediately jumped out of the truck and rand towards a nearby field.

“Members gave chase and managed to arrest all (three) suspects who are aged between 33 and 35 years old,” Makhele said.

Makhele said police officers had then proceeded to search the suspects and three cellphones were found and seized.

A total of 11 stolen Bonsmara cattle, valued at around R220 000 were positively identified by the local farmer and handed back to him at the scene of the arrest, Makhele added.

“The suspects will  appear in Wesselsbron Magistrate Court on Monday the 20 September 2021,” he said.

According to the latest crime statistics released by Police Minister Bheki Cele in August stock theft is on the decline.

“Police continue to clamp down on Stock theft, which recorded a decrease of 8.0%. If comparison was made to the normal period of 2019/2020 this would have resulted in a 13.5% decrease,” Cele said.

Stock theft decreased in six of the nine provinces with the highest volume decrease recorded in the Eastern Cape that reported 398 fewer cases.