By Aron Hyman
A 24-year-old police constable was arrested on Thursday after he allegedly robbed a Somali shop owner of two cartons of cigarettes in Cape Town.
olice also managed to retrieve a R5 police-issue assault rifle that the officer had booked out and stored at a friend’s house‚ according to Western Cape police spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk.
The policeman and his 18-year-old civilian accomplice were cornered after their blue VW Golf‚ with registration plates matching the description given by a complainant‚ was spotted by a Delft SAPS crime prevention unit.
“The two occupants were taken out of the vehicle and searched‚ whereupon two 9mm pistols with two magazines and 30 rounds were found in their possession‚” said Van Wyk.
“It was then discovered that the one passenger was a police constable aged 24 years old‚ stationed at Guguletu SAPS‚ but working for the Nyanga Cluster Stabilisation Unit. They also recovered two cartons of cigarettes (Chicago and JFK cigarettes)‚” he said.
The constable told police that not only did he book out the two pistols from his police station but also an R5 assault rifle‚ which he stored at the home of a friend.
“Members followed up on the information and recovered the R5 firearm with 20 rounds and a magazine hidden between a base and a mattress at the address given by the suspect. They then arrested the friend who had kept the rifle‚ for unlawful possession of a firearm‚” said Van Wyk.
The three suspects are expected to appear in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court on Friday and will face charges of business robbery‚ unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of suspected stolen property.
“The arrest of a police member for the commission of a crime sends shockwaves through the rank and file of the SAPS‚ but it also indicates that criminals will never find a safe haven in the SAPS‚” said Van Wyk.