Three men, including a Port Elizabeth tavern owner, have been arrested after a hijacked car was found parked in the garage alongside a tavern.
Police spokesman Sergeant Majola Nkohli said the vehicle, a Toyota Tazz, operating as a jikeleza in KwaNobuhle outside Uitenhage, had been hijacked at 7pm on Thursday.
Nkohli said the 21-year-old driver reported the hijacking and kidnapping incident at KwaNobuhle police station after being accosted by two men.
“The complainant alleged that two men armed with firearms accosted him while he was returning to his parked vehicle outside a shop in Matanzima Road, KwaNobuhle,” he said.
“The man further said that the two suspects forced him at gunpoint to hand over a vehicle key and was also forced to crouch at the backseat of a vehicle. The suspects drove away with him, and later dropped him somewhere in Booysen Park, Port Elizabeth.”
Nkohli said the man hitchhiked to Uitenhage after being dropped off and reported the incident to police.
By 9am on Friday, police found the vehicle parked at a tavern in Extension 12 Chetty in Port Elizabeth.
“Police arrested a 37-year-old tavern owner and two other suspects for possession of stolen vehicle,” he said.
The three men, aged between 32 and 45 years, are due to appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Monday on charges of possession of stolen property.
Nkohli however said that the detectives were still establishing whether the three arrested men were actually involved in the hijacking and kidnapping.
Acting Uitenhage Cluster Commander, Brigadier Ronald Koll said the bust showed police remained committed to fight serious and violent crimes.
“As police, we encourage our community to supply us with information about anyone who may be involved in these violent serious crimes and in possession of illegal firearms or stolen property,” he said.