Johannesburg - When Joburg metro police department (JMPD) officers pulled over a rusty 18-wheeler truck, it was just to check if it was roadworthy.
What they found instead were electricity cables worth almost R5 million.
The truck was pulled over around 1pm on Sunday.
The officers noticed that the web of tangled cables protruding from the top of the truck’s dumping bed belonged to City Power.
“The officers were working on the corner of Crownwood Road (Ormonde). A white Mercedes with two white male occupants was escorting the truck.
“They told the officers that if they escort them to Denver, they’ll give them R15 000 cold, hard cash,” said JMPD spokeswoman Edna Mamonyane.
The officer pretended to accept the offer, but called for back-up instead. He said he would write them up for a minor offence.
When the back-up arrived, the Mercedes sped off and the truck driver was left to explain the stolen goods.
“When they (the officers and the truck) arrived at Booysens, a black Range Rover arrived and the occupant asked to see the arresting officer. He then offered the officer R60 000 to release the truck.”
As the officer was about to call for back-up, that car sped off too.
“City Power have confirmed that the cables are theirs. The cables will be taken by City Power to be secured,” Mamonyane said.
The truck bearing the stolen cables had two different business names on it, one on each of the passenger doors. One was for a company in Randfontein and the other for a business in Vanderbijlpark.
Mamonyane said the driver had been arrested and would be charged with possession of stolen cables.