Off-duty detectives arrest robber in PE complex

Two off-duty detectives arrested one suspected robber while at least 4 others escaped during an early morning house robbery

Two quick thinking detectives sprung into action and arrested a robber inside a complex
Two quick thinking detectives sprung into action and arrested a robber inside a complex
Image: Gareth Wilson

Two off-duty Port Elizabeth police detectives sprang into action at the crack of dawn, nabbing a robber who had broken into a neighbour’s house.

Mount road cluster detective head Colonel Paul Oranje and gang unit detective Captain Rio Kriel reacted instinctively after hearing a noise inside the Loxley Place Complex in Brentwood Park, Sherwood - where both officers live.

According to police, Oranje was preparing for his jog early at about 4.30am on Thursday when he heard a noise inside the complex.

Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said Oranje then went to investigate and alerted Kriel, who lives a few units away.

“By that stage, Oranje had identified that the back sliding door of one of the complex's ground units was lifted off the sliding rails.

“The two detectives tactically approached the unit from opposite sides. Warning shots were then fired while outside,” she said.

“In a panic, multiple suspects started running out of the back of the unit. The one detective [Kriel] managed to corner one of the men who then backtracked and ran back into the home.

“He gave pursuit and the suspect pulled out a screwdriver. A scuffled ensued and the suspect was arrested.”

Naidu said while the fight was underway, the remaining suspects escaped over the boundary wall with electric fencing and into the nearby bushes at the bottom of the street.

“The detectives called for backup and [chased] after the remaining suspects. It is between three and six that managed to escaped,” she said.

Naidu said it was unclear whether there was a getaway car parked nearby.

The robbers were targeting an elderly woman and her daughter who live in the unit.

“At the time, the two occupants did not even know that there were people inside their home,” she said.

She said more arrests were imminent.

The 29-year-old is due to appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Monday for charges linked to house robbery.