A GROUP of inept robbers in Port Elizabeth thought they had made the perfect getaway – but instead led police right to their front door.
The five men – derided as the Bay’s dumbest criminals – were arrested at a Schauder Avenue, Holland Park, house at about 1.15am yesterday.
Members of the Flying Squad, and Algoa Park and Mount Road police stations followed a trail of diesel that had dripped from a container of stolen fuel straight to their front door.
Police spokesman Captain Stanley Jarvis said the robbers, armed with a toy gun, had asked a petrol attendant at the Quest petrol station in Kempston Road, Sidwell, to fill the tanks of a minibus and a bakkie at about 1am.
"After filling the vehicles, one of the men pulled out a [toy] firearm and demanded that he [the attendant] also fill the four drums on the back of the bakkie,” he said.
"A detective in an unmarked police vehicle was across the road and saw that something did not look right. He went to investigate and the robbers took off.
"A car chase ensued but police lost track of both vehicles near Stebonheath Road in Sydenham.”
Jarvis said police circulated the vehicles’ details and came across the trail of diesel on the road.
"They followed the trail of diesel which led them straight to the men’s house,” he said.
"Both vehicles were found inside the yard and the drums of diesel were still on the back of the bakkie.
"When they [the police] entered the house, some of the suspects were allegedly trying to wash the diesel off their skin.
"After a brief search of the house, the officers found the attendant’s cellphone that had been stolen as well as the toy gun used in the robbery.”
The men are due to appear in court today on charges of armed robbery and theft.