Bluff’s Telkom cable thieves caught redhanded

STOLEN cables with an estimated replacement value of about R2-m was recovered Brighton Beach SAPS on Thursday, 2 November, after three thieves destroyed Telkom copper cables on the Bluff.
At about 2.30am, the station’s visible policing members were patrolling Bluff Road when they noticed a bakkie parked alongside the road.
“When the two men in the bakkie noticed the police vehicle, they drove off. The members pursued them and were able to get the driver to pull over. That is when they noticed a pile of Telkom copper cables lying in the back of the bakkie,” said Brighton Beach SAPS’ Captain Louise Le Roux.
The pair were arrested and took the officers to a manhole where they had stolen the cables from. When they opened the manhole cover, police found a third man inside, cutting more cabling. He was also arrested,
The trio aged 26, 28 and 40 were charged with tampering with, damaging and destroying essential infrastructure, theft of copper cable and possession of property suspected to be stolen.
“It was established from the scene of crime that the trio gained access to the cables by accessing manholes. Chain blocks were used to haul the cables out. With the lid in place over the manholes, they worked underground, unhindered and undetected,” added Capt Le Roux.

READ: Tons of copper cables unearthed in six-month probe

The cables are manufactured for outdoor communication routes and feed through a network of underground tubes which provide telephone services to customers.
Brighton Beach police station management commends Warrant Officer Louis Engelbreght and Sergeant Robert Jooste on their vigilance which led to the arrest of the trio and recovery of the stolen cable.
Community members are urged to report the illegal trade in copper cable and non-ferrous metals to: Telkom Crime Line 0800-124-000, Eskom Crime Line 0800-112-722, Transnet Freight Rail 0800 -003-056 and eThekwini Cable Theft 031-311-9611.

Lauren Beukes

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