One car thief was shot dead while another remains on the run, after the neighbours of the victim initially gave chase in Emalahleni, Ekurhuleni metro police said on Tuesday.
The owner of a red Mitsubishi van was awoken at around 02:00 on Monday when he heard noises in his yard in Vosman in Emalahleni, said spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wilfred Kgasago.
When he went outside he discovered two men trying to break into his van.
"He was pistol-whipped by the two car thieves who managed to drive away with his vehicle."
Despite sustaining head injuries, the owner notified his neighbours of the robbery.
"The neighbours… decided to give chase in an effort to recover the Mitsubishi," explained Kgasago.
"During the high speed chase which ensued - from Witbank to Germiston - the victim and his neighbour kept in touch with the police, informing [them] of their location."
On the N12 westbound in the Germiston area, the thieves abandoned the vehicle to flee on foot.
The metro police's K9 unit managed to nab one of the suspects. He was shot and wounded in the chase and later died from his injuries.
The other thief managed to escape.
The stolen vehicle was recovered.
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