Four suspected stock thieves – one released from prison only two months ago – were nabbed after being caught this week with five sheep in their vehicle.
Two of the four men are convicted stock thieves who were part of a gang that was jailed in 2009.
The men, caught after farmers and police watched them allegedly steal five sheep from a farm along the R335 near Addo, were arrested late on Wednesday.
The arrests were made in a joint operation between police in Uitenhage, farmers, the K9 dog unit and the Uitenhage stock theft unit.
The men had been caught after a farm worker spotted them at about 8pm, Captain Gerda Swart said. “Police were notified and the stock theft unit set up an undercover observation in bushes nearby,” she said.
“At about 11.50pm, a Toyota Corolla stopped in the road next to the farm and the four suspects carried five sheep to the car with their feet bound together.”
Swart said the police had seen the men leaving towards Motherwell and a roadblock had been set up. “Two sheep were found in the boot of the vehicle and three on the back seat.”
Police said one of the men had been released from prison on July 8 after a 16- year sentence (he served only seven) for stock theft in 2009.
Swart said there had been a spike in stock theft. “There are about six cases we’ll see if this gang is linked to,” she said. One of the other men arrested was released on parole in September last year.