VIP guard stranded after motorist apparently grabs car key, drives away

Henry

A motorist was arrested on Monday at the OR Tambo International Airport in the East Rand after she apparently grabbed the keys to an official vehicle of the Tshwane Metro Police in the Pretoria city center and drove away.

This vehicle belongs to a VIP protection officer assigned to Johann Mettler, Tshwane’s city manager.

Mettler was not involved in the incident and was in a meeting at the time of the event, Metro said Tuesday.

According to Selby Bokaba, spokesperson for the Tshwane metro, a case of robbery and theft has since been lodged with the police.

The woman was in custody for a while on Monday and was released the same day, according to Bokaba.

He explains that the VIP protection officer in question was driving in Francis Baard Street at around 13:30 on Monday when he encountered a motorist with a silver colored Mercedes-Benz sedan who apparently stopped the traffic.

“The police officer activated a siren and signaled to the female motorist to move on so that she would not obstruct the traffic. However, she apparently refused to comply,” Bokaba said.

“The officer got out of his vehicle, approached her and showed her his appointment certificate. He informed her that he was going to issue her a traffic fine. While he was writing out this fine, she apparently grabbed the keys to his official vehicle and drove away. This left the officer stranded in the city centre.”

Bokaba says the officer informed his division of the incident, after which the emergency patrol was deployed to track down the suspect.

The unit apparently located her vehicle with the help of a tracking device and chased her on the R21 south.

“During the high-speed chase, she allegedly ignored orders by the police to stop her rental car. She did stop later. The police then politely requested her to return the keys to the official vehicle, but she apparently refused.

“She drove away again – apparently in a hurry to catch a flight. The police chased her and finally apprehended her at the OR Tambo airport and arrested her.”

According to Bokaba, the keys to the official vehicle were found in her possession upon her arrest. The suspect is apparently a senior manager at a subsidiary of one of the water boards.