A suspected car thief was shot dead after an exchange of gunfire with police in Kwamsane, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Monday.

The man was killed after he and another man were found driving a stolen vehicle in Gugulethu reserve on Saturday, spokesman Captain Jabulani Mdletshe said.

Patrolling police tracked down the car and when they approached it the men sped off and started shooting. Police returned fire.

“Police chased them and the car lost control. One of the men managed to escape on foot, abandoning his accomplice who was wounded.”

The man died on the scene. Police are still looking for his accomplice.