On 4 August 2015, swift police response resulted in the arrest of one suspect after they recovered two vehicles shortly after they were hijacked during two separate incidents; both incidents occurred in Dutton Street, Bloemfontein.
The hijackings happened within a time difference of twenty minutes; the suspects allegedly used the same modus operandi of accosting the drivers with firearms.
During the first incident, a 38-year-old man alleged that he was driving his VW Polo and parked in Dutton Street at around 21:00. While sitting inside and talking to his girlfriend, two unknown men (driving a white Huandai Sedan) stopped next to his car; one suspect came out and held them at gunpoint, robbed them of their cell-phones and ordered them to get out of the car. The suspect later drove away with the victim`s car after which the victims alerted police who were on patrolling a near-by street. The police traced the suspects and later recovered the victim`s car which had been found parked at a block of flats in the Willows area. The police suspect that the location has been used as a cool-off area and storage for stolen or hijacked vehicles.
In another incident, a 23-year-old man alleged that an unknown man accosted him with a firearm while he was sitting in his car with his two friends. The victim had parked his silver Hundai in Dutton Street at around 21:30. The suspect approached them at gunpoint and instructed them to get out of the car; he ordered the victim’s friends to get into the boot and locked it; the victim managed to escape by running away and the suspect drove away with the victim’s car. The two friends were later dumped at the Heidedal Cemetery and the vehicle was recovered at around 23:30 at the Maseru border; 32-year-old driver was arrested.
The arrested suspect is expected to appear in the Ladybrand Magistrate`s Court soon on the charge of possession of a stolen vehicle; he will also expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate`s Court on a charge of vehicle hijacking.