LOOK: 14 arrested for stealing sheep in Free State, Western Cape

Fourteen people have been arrested for allegedly stealing sheep in Free State and Western Cape. Picture : Tracey Adams / African News Agency (ANA)

Fourteen people have been arrested for allegedly stealing sheep in Free State and Western Cape. Picture : Tracey Adams / African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jan 3, 2023


Rustenburg - Fourteen people were arrested for stealing sheep in separate incidents in the Free State and the Western Cape provinces.

Eight men were arrested for the alleged theft of 88 sheep in the farming town of Reitz in the east of the Free State province.

According to Free State police, the eight were caught red-handed while slaughtering the stolen sheep.

"A joint operation was conducted between Reitz and Petrus Steyn police, where eight suspects were arrested after being found in possession of 48 slaughtered and 40 live sheep," Warrant Officer Mmako Mophiring said.

"On December 30, 2022 at about 2.10am, the Reitz police received an urgent call about an alleged theft of sheep in progress at a certain farm.

"The Community Service Centre activated other police officials who managed to trace and find the suspects with bloody clothes, which led them to the recovery of 48 slaughtered and 40 live sheep in the field. The local farmer confirmed that the 88 sheep were stolen and are indeed his," Mophiring said.

The eight were arrested and the police seized five vehicles – three sedans and two bakkies which had been used in the crime.

"The eight suspects, aged between 27 and 46, have been charged and are expected to appear before Reitz Magistrate Court facing charges of stock theft," he said.

In the Western Cape, police said two men were arrested after five suspected sheep were found inside the boot of a red Toyota Corolla, following a high speed chase on the N2 freeway.

Sergeant Christopher Spies said the police and farmers joined forces in swift response to a stock theft incident reported on a Mossel Bay farm on December 30.

He said a Corolla was spotted leaving a farm in the vicinity.

"Police members pursued the vehicle, a red Toyota Corolla during a chase along the N2 highway towards Mossel Bay.

"In an attempt to evade police the vehicle left the road, however, it was brought to a halt when one occupant disembarked and fled the scene on foot. A search conducted on the vehicle led to the recovery of five sheep on the back seat and boot of the vehicle," he said.

The police arrested one man found at the scene, the second man, believed to be the driver of the vehicle, was arrested on New Year's Day after detectives assigned to the case tracked him down.

"In an unrelated incident, on December 28, 2022, members of the Kwanonqaba police responded to information about a Volkswagen Golf which dropped off sheep at a residence at Kwanonqaba.

"Upon arrival at the premises they found four men slaughtering a sheep. The foursome were taken into custody, and one, a 57-year-old man, charged with possession of stolen property and stock theft. The stolen sheep was later linked to a farm in the area," he said.