Three men are expected to appear in court in Cape Town on Monday in connection with the hijacking and theft of a truck and its cargo of sparkling wine worth over R1 million (about US$61,000) this past week, the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the Western Cape said on Sunday.
Detectives attached to the SAPS Western Cape organised crime and anti-hijacking unit are investigating a case of hijacking after a truck was hijacked on Thursday, September 17, at about 3pm on the corner of Owen and Halt roads in Elsies River in Cape Town, Western Cape SAPS spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said in a statement.
The truck was loaded with boxes of sparkling wine packed onto 36 pallets and valued at over R1 million. The tracking unit of the truck was jammed and the vehicle could not be immediately traced. However, the truck was later recovered abandoned in Lansdowne Road, with the entire cargo missing, Rwexana said.
On Friday, September 18, the police team investigating the case followed up on information provided and made a breakthrough when they established that the truck had stopped at an address in Crete Road in Ottery in Cape Town.
They put the Ottery business premises under surveillance and spotted boxes of sparkling wine loaded into a truck. The team followed the truck when it departed, assisted by SAPS officers from the Lansdown police station, Rwexana said.
The truck was stopped and 320 boxes of sparkling wine were found inside the truck’s cargo bay. Two suspects, aged 22 and 38, were arrested for possession of presumed stolen property.
Police officers then conducted a raid at the business property in Crete Road in Ottery, and 717 boxes of sparkling wine were found. A 60-year-old suspect was arrested on the premises, also for possession of presumed stolen property.
All three suspects were expected to appear in the Wynberg Magistrates’ Court on Monday, Rwexana said.