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MANZINI – A car theft suspect was shot dead at Fairview on Monday afternoon, as he tried to flee from the police.

According to sources, the car theft suspect was among four people who were on the police radar for stealing vehicles. He was said to have been apprehended subsequent to the arrest of one of the people believed to have been engaging in the act with him. Sources claimed that the suspect had travelled with the police officers to his place of abode, where he was to supposedly show them some of the items linked to the stolen vehicles. The sources claimed that when the 45-year-old man alighted from the police vehicle, he started to flee the scene without showing the police the exhibits. The sources claimed that his advantage was that his rented flat was located in a densely populated area.

According to the sources, while fleeing, the police fired warning shots, signaling that he should halt his marathon. However, he reportedly continued to show the police a clean pair of heels. It was said the police continued to warn the suspect as they could not fire the gunshots directly at him, because there were minors playing within the compound. At some point, however, it was claimed that one of the gunshots fired, injured the suspect and led to his demise. The sources believe that he died on the spot.Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Senior Superintendent Phindile Vilakati, confirmed the shooting and the death of the suspect.


She said the suspect fled from the police and died while they were trying to halt him from his attempt. Vilakati further asserted that the suspect was wanted on suspicion of being part of a syndicate that was stealing vehicles at Ngwane Park. It is worth noting that last year, the Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS),  in their annual report for the past financial year, reported that the theft of motor vehicles had escalated, as they were stolen to be used in committing other criminal offences.

Also, around this period, a trio of most wanted armed robbery suspects was shot dead within 24 hours by the police. Two of the suspects were shot dead at Hlutse while the other was killed a day later at Mahlabatsini, Matsapha. They were wanted for criminal activities, mainly armed robberies, spanning over a wide period of time. These suspects, had, according to the police, been on their most wanted list for a while. It all started when the trio stole a white Toyota Avanza while parked at Mkhosi Township in Manzini. Five days later, while the police were looking for the stolen vehicle, they got a tip-off that it had been making rounds around Hlutse and they were quick to act on it.

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