Ricochet News

Cellphone tower battery thief arrested after shootout with PE police

By Afikile Lugunya - Jun 7, 2018
Cellphone tower battery thief arrested after shootout with PE police

In the early hours of Thursday morning, Port Elizabeth police arrested a 41-year-old man after a shootout broke out while police officers were following up on a tip-off about a stolen cellphone tower batteries in Nkabalaza Street, Kwadwesi.

According to police spokesperson, Captain Andre Beetge, during the incident, police officers found four cellphone tower backup batteries on the suspect and another six batteries were found hidden in a bushy area close to the tower.

The value of the batteries is approximately about R36 000.

Captain Beetge said that, on their arrival to the crime scene, officers spotted a white VW Golf with four occupants that attempted to flee from police.

“The vehicle collided with a wooden lamp-post and all four suspects got out of the vehicle and started shooting at the police members," he described.

“The two police members returned fire, and managed to arrest one of the suspects. The other three managed to evade arrest and fled on foot. Nobody was injured during the exchange of fire."

Capt Beetge said that the 41-year-old suspect will be charged for theft and possession of stolen property.

He will be appearing in the New Brighton Magistrate's Court on Friday.

SAPS Motherwell Cluster Commander, Major General Dawie Rabie, applauded the arrest and added "Our community needs to assist police in identifying these suspects. These thefts can affect cellphone users' connection to the cellphone networks and we need to work together to get these thieves off the streets and behind bars."

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