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Copper cable thieves caught in the act in New Brighton

May 16, 2019
Copper cable thieves caught in the act in New Brighton

Copper cable theft a serious problem in the Nelson Mandela Bay

Port Elizabeth - In an effort to curb copper cable theft across the Nelson Mandela Bay, police in Port Elizabeth arrested two New Brighton men after police dog, Jack, pounced on them as they stole copper cables.

"The Port Elizabeth K9 unit members received information this morning, at about 10:00, from the Nelson Mandela Municipality's Surveillance Unit about two men busy in the bushes near Whyteleaf and Chase Streets in Algoa Park," said police spokesperson, Col Priscilla Naidu.

"Sgt Volente Baatjies, her dog, Jack, and her colleague, met the Surveillance Unit close to the scene for a briefing and plan of action where after the K9 members tactically approached the area through a ravine and dense bush to where the suspects were digging.

"As soon as the suspects spotted the police, they made a dash to evade arrest, but a further two members of the Surveillance Unit acted as a stopper group to prevent the suspects from escaping, thus allowing Jack to apprehend both men."

Col Naidu sid that the damage is estimated to be about R10 000.

"Both suspects, aged 21 and 55 years old, were detained under the Criminal Matters Amendment Act (tampering, damaging and theft of essential infrastructure). They are expected to appear in court soon."

She said that prior to digging up the cables, thieves have been cutting the cables from the pylon in this particular spot.

Copper cables worth around R300 000 stolen in the area

"In an effort to curb the ongoing theft, the municipality installed alarm sensors on the pylons to monitor any movement in that area. In April 2018, almost 300m of copper cable was stolen from this area," Col Naidu added.

"The estimated value of the cables is over R300 000.

"This cable is a vital communication medium between different electrical sub- stations, monitoring the ‘health’ of such sub- station by the Electricity Directorate.

"Without a functional communication link, the Municipality has no remote control over such sub- station from a technical management perspective."

Mount Road Cluster Commander, Maj Gen Thembisile Patekile, commended the collaborative action as copper cable theft is a huge problem. '

"We will continue to work with our partners in ensuring that perpetrators of such a crime are arrested and brought to book. We are also appealing to scrap metal dealers to inform us when these copper cables are brought in for sale," added Maj Gen Patekile.

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