PARKTOWN � Police this week successfully traced and found a 26-year-old suspect who is on the list of the fifty most wanted suspects and repeat offenders. The man who is wanted for a string of cases that include house robberies, theft of motor vehicles and house breakings was traced and located in Pretoria. Investigations are still underway as it is believed he could be linked to other cases.

In the quest to remove repeat offenders from the streets, most of whom police have reasons to believe are behind some of the serious and violent crimes, integrated intelligence-driven operations have been intensified and these have also yielded in the recovery of illegal firearms believed to have been used in the commission of serious and violent crimes. Police recovered eighteen illegal firearms during raids and operations conducted over the weekend in Gauteng.

The eighteen illegal firearms were recovered in Tshwane, Soweto, Ekurhuleni and Sedibeng and suspects were arrested for possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition. Most of these illicit firearms were recovered as a result of information given to the police by the community. Police received information about three armed men that were inside a white Golf at Jabulani Shell garage in Soweto. As the police were approaching the said vehicle, two men jumped out and ran away. Police gave chase and arrested a suspect after he was found in possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition. In a separate incident, police arrested two suspects in Ekurhuleni for possession of ammunition following a tip-off. Police were given information about a man who has a firearm in one of the houses in Ekurhuleni. A search was conducted and police found 9mm magazine with ammunition, suspect was arrested. Two unlicensed firearms were recovered in Mamelodi East following a high speed chase between members of the flying squad and a VW Jetta that was reportedly hijacked in Pretoria West. More firearms were recovered as a result of tip-offs as well as police stop and search operations within the province.

Meanwhile, a man believed to be linked to the notorious ‘Bokoharam Gang’ allegedly operating in Mamelodi, was arrested, while in this instance too, an investigation is underway for possible linkage to crimes as per allegations by the public.

Furthermore, Gauteng police arrested more than one thousand one hundred (1100) suspects during operations that were conducted in various parts of the province. The operations included the tracing of wanted suspects, raiding of liquor outlets and second hand dealerships, roadblocks, stop and search. More than three hundred and sixty (360) suspects were arrested in Tshwane and West Rand for crimes ranging from attempted murder, possession of unlicensed firearms, dealing in drugs, driving while under the influence of alcohol, assault, malicious damage to property and house breaking.

Intelligence driven operations were also conducted in Johannesburg and Soweto which resulted in the arrest of more than two hundred and ten (210) suspects for criminal offences that include rape, possession of suspected stolen properties, assault, possession of drugs and possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.

More than five hundred and forty (540) suspects were arrested in Ekurhuleni and Sedibeng for possession of suspected stolen motor vehicle, possession of suspected stolen properties, child neglect, malicious damage to property, car hijacking, kidnapping, fraud, attempted murder and drunk while under the influence of alcohol among other crimes.

The suspects will appear at various magistrate courts from Monday.

The Provincial Commissioner of the police in Gauteng Lieutenant General Elias Mawela has commended the community for responding positively to a call to identify and expose those who possess illegal firearms within the community. I am grateful that the majority of the firearms that were recovered over the weekend were as a result of the community coming forward to give police information. This is evidence enough that the community is now claiming their streets back from the criminals and will not tolerate crimes committed under their watch. The community should continue to be the eyes and ears of the police and if information is given to the police, we will respond swiftly and decisively cited the provincial commissioner.

Source: South African Police Service