The Hawks have arrested a 31-year old man suspected to be the mastermind behind the theft of six vehicles at a car dealership in Phalaborwa in Limpopo in December.

Five of the six vehicles were later recovered at the Limpopo river, enroute to Zimbabwe.

They were intercepted before crossing the border.

Hawks spokesperson Matimba Maluleke says the suspect was arrested while appearing for a car theft charge at Westgate Magistrate’s Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Maluleke says two other suspects were earlier arrested for the same crime.

The man believed to be the mastermind is suspected to have led a syndicate that stole a fleet of Ford cars at a car dealership in Phalaborwa in December last year.

Two other suspects who are also believed to be part of the syndicate were arrested in January.

Five of the six stolen vehicles were recovered at Limpopo river near Beit Bridge.

The suspects face charges of burglary at business premises and theft of motor vehicles.