Diesel theft suspect wounded by security official during shootout

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Image: Gareth Wilson

A Port Elizabeth security official chased and shot a man who allegedly stole a construction vehicle and then used it to steal 50 litres of diesel from a petrol station.

According to police, the construction vehicle arrived at the Engen Service Station in Govan Mbeki Avenue, opposite the post office, at about 3.15am, and the driver and a passenger filled up two drums with diesel.

At the time, authorities did not know that the Newton Park construction company, GVK-Siya Zama, had been burgled and one of its vehicles had been stolen.

Police spokesperson Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said the alarm had been raised when the two men sped off from the petrol station without paying.

Members of Algoa Security — an armed response company — gave chase.

“The security vehicle had stopped at the station only minutes after the construction vehicle sped off.

“They were there to inflate the vehicle’s tyres,” she said.

“As they stopped, the petrol attendant told them about the men in the vehicle who had sped off without paying,” she said.

“At that stage, it was still unknown that the vehicle had been stolen.”

Janse van Rensburg said the security officials had quickly caught up to the vehicle.

“As they turned into Albany Road, the two suspects abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot.

“A chase ensued.

“During the foot pursuit, it is alleged that the suspects started shooting at a security official. The official returned fire.”

Janse van Rensburg said police had arrived a short while later and the area had been searched.

“One of the suspects was found hiding in nearby premises.

“He was arrested and found to have been shot in the arm.”

Officials on the scene said about 10 spent cartridges had been found on the road after the shooting.

The 23-year-old suspect is under police guard in Livingstone Hospital.

The man will appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court for attempted murder, possession of a stolen vehicle and theft of the diesel once he is discharged from hospital.

Police confirmed that additional charges of burglary and theft could be added.

Janse van Rensburg said police were still searching for the second suspect.