File photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman.

PORT ELIZABETH - Continuous theft of cables and solar panels from the Port Elizabeth International Airport has prompted aviation authorities to seek urgent intervention from police, Eastern Cape police said in a statement on Thursday. 

Police spokesperson, Colonel Priscilla Naidu said it was alleged that in a matter of six weeks, approximately 28 solar panels were stolen from the airport. 

Naidu said the theft of the solar panels posed a serious threat to communication between aircrafts and tower control. 

Naidu said during the early hours of Thursday morning the police's K9 unit responded to a complaint of theft in progress at the Port Elizabeth International Airport.

She said it was alleged that four suspects were busy cutting the fence to gain entry to the airport. 

A description was given of the suspects who after seeing the airport security, ran into the bushes. 

"The members tactically advanced into the bush and spotted the suspects. After being warned several times to stop, Sgt Wallace Kettledas released his dog Bentley.”

Naidu said a 19-year-old man was arrested while the others managed to flee. 

The suspect was detained on charges relating to the Aviation and Airport Security Related Issues Act 13 of 2009 and Malicious Damage to Property.

The teenager is expected to appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court soon.

African News Agency (ANA)