A high-speed chase ended in a dramatic shootout between hijackers and police, followed by arrests at the Ottery Shopping Centre this morning.
Frightened shoppers had to duck as the gunshots rang out at the McDonald’s Drive-Thru side.
Three suspects had allegedly hijacked a woman driving a white Toyota Fortuner in Zeekoe Road in Grassy Park just after 9am.
The victim’s sister explains: “She was at my place dropping off some stuff and when she was close to her car, two men came and demanded her car keys.
“It happened so fast and it seemed like they were following her to my street.
“She was going somewhere and said she would return to my place when she was done.
“The hijackers took her car, her bag and laptop which were in the car.”
The 57-year-old woman says her sister, 45, is still traumatised by the incident.
“We are grateful that she was not harmed and that the car was recovered.
“The police acted swiftly and it’s good that the vehicle has a tracker.”
A little over an hour after the hijacking took place, the Flying Squad members spotted the SUV and gave chase, cornering the skelms at the Ottery Shopping Centre.
A 42-year-old Fairways resident who fled the scene says: “I moved to the other side of the mall when I heard a lot of shots.
“It was quite intense, we had just got into our car when the gunshots went off and then after that we heard the sirens.
“The amount of shots fired… it could have been a scene in a movie.”
Suspects arrested in Ottery. Video supplied
Police spokesman Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi says three suspects were arrested.
“Three suspects aged 17, 36 and 37 were arrested in Ottery, following a high-speed chase after a vehicle was hijacked in Zeekoe Road in Grassy Park.
“At about 9.20am, a female was robbed at gunpoint by three unknown males, forcing her out of her vehicle.
“The suspects jumped into the complainant’s vehicle and fled the scene in her Toyota Fortuner.
“The vehicle's tracker was activated and a high-speed chase followed when members of the Flying Squad spotted the vehicle.
“The driver ignored calls to stop and bumped into vehicles on the way as a result of the high-speed chase.”
Swartbooi says the police then opened fire the hijacked vehicle.
“The vehicle was brought to a halt in Ottery. The suspects were found in possession of an imitation firearm.
“Once charged, they are expected to make a court appearance in the Wynberg Magistrates’ Court on a charge of hijacking.”