Gauteng police have arrested five people in the past few days for impersonating a police officers, soldier and emergency service employee.
A 25-year-old dreadlocked man was arrested in Heidelberg for impersonating a member of SANDF and possession of stolen property after he was found walking in the CBD wearing full SANDF uniform on Sunday, 26 April 2020. Members of the community found it unusual when they saw the dreadlock man in full army uniform walking along Voortrekker Street and they alerted the police. Upon interviewing the man, police established that he is not a member of SANDF. He was arrested and charged with impersonating a member of SANDF and possession of suspected stolen property.
In Johannesburg, again on Sunday, a 40-year-old man was arrested after he was found driving a vehicle fitted with red lights and siren. When stopped, the suspect could not produce proof that he is an emergency service employee. As police were searching the car, they found an unlicensed firearm with ammunition as well as traffic cones belonging to South African Police Service. He was arrested for impersonating an emergency service employee, possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition and possession of suspected stolen property.
Finally, in Tshwane on Wednesday, 22 April 2020 a former reservist and two of her accomplices were arrested for impersonating police officers and common robbery. Police received information about two women who are wearing police uniform and a man who had just committed a common robbery. A lookout for the suspects was conducted. A vehicle matching the description given was spotted and stopped in Soshanguve. Upon questioning the occupants, it was established that one female is a former police reservist while the other female and male were just members of the community. Inside the vehicle there were police uniforms, unwritten police docket, trays of eggs and chickens. The suspects were charged with impersonating police officers, possession of suspected stolen property and common robbery.
The investigation is underway to establish how the suspects acquired uniforms and property that belongs to the police and the army. Further charges may be added to all the suspects, pending the investigation.
The Gauteng Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Elias Mawela applauded the police and community who acted with diligence to intercept the suspects. “It is a very serious offence to impersonate a law enforcement officer. These suspects deserve a hefty sentence that will send a strong message to other criminals who tarnish the names of the hard working law enforcers and emergency service employees” said the Provincial Commissioner in a statement.
The suspects will appear in magistrates’ courts in due course.