A truck transporting luxury vehicles was hijacked along the N3 near Estcourt on November 1 at about 11pm.
Three suspects armed with firearms forced the driver to stop the truck.
They then climbed into the truck and forced him to continue driving for some distance, after which the driver was ordered to stop along an off-ramp in the bushes.
The suspects then began off-loading the luxury vehicles.
Police officers from Winterton SAPS saw the activity in the bushes and went to investigate.
On spotting the police, the suspects opened fire and the officers retaliated.
The suspects fled in one of the vehicles they had already off-loaded, leaving behind the other vehicles they had intended to steal.
It is unknown whether any of the suspects were injured in the incident, but no police officers or occupants of the truck were injured.
Police are searching for the suspects and the stolen vehicle, a Mercedes C-class.
A case of hijacking is being investigated.