Welkom - Four men were arrested in Welkom on Thursday for stealing copper cable and selling contraband cigarettes, Free State police said.

Two men, aged 21 and 27 years, were arrested for copper theft, said Constable Kethabile Mofokeng.

He said a resident saw them putting copper cable, worth about R2992 on the street, into their vehicle, took down its registration number and reported them to the police.

The Welkom flying squad pulled over the vehicle, searched it and found 44kg of copper cable inside.

In a separate incident, two Bangladeshi men were arrested for selling contraband cigarettes, worth about R8 500 on the street, Mofokeng said.

He said the police were tipped off on Wednesday that foreigners were selling cigarettes at shops in Riebeeckstad.

Police found the cigarettes when they searched two shops owned by the Bangladeshis, Mofokeng said.

He said all found men would appear soon in the Welkom Magistrate's Court.