Cape Town – The City of Cape Town’s Metal Theft Unit has been praised for their efforts after officers bust four suspects with nearly 600kg of telecommunications cables.
The suspects were caught in Valhalla Drive at about 7am on Monday.
Officers were conducting operations in Epping and Elsies River, inspecting vehicles headed to scrap metal dealers, when they came across the vehicle.
The bakkie was heavily loaded and the driver tried to make a U-turn when he spotted the officers.
“Officers recovered numerous plastic bags containing what turned out to be approximately 574kg of telecommunication cables, with an estimated value of R70 000.
“None of the four occupants could provide a reasonable explanation for being in possession of the commodity, and were arrested and detained at Elsies River SAPS for possession of stolen property, as well as tampering, damaging or destroying any parts of essential infrastructure in terms of the Criminal Amendment Act,” said mayoral committee member for safety and security, Alderman JP Smith.
He said on Saturday, two suspects were arrested after being caught red-handed stealing cables along the N1 highway near the CBD.
“We continue to face extremely high levels of cable theft, as shown once again by this latest incident. The City, through its enforcement agencies, and the Metal Theft Unit in particular, continues to do everything possible within its mandate, to address theft and vandalism of infrastructure.
“There have been several comments at national government level recently around potential restrictions on the scrap metal trade.
“The City would welcome efforts to curb the rampant cable theft and vandalism of critical infrastructure, but these need to be expedited.
“More importantly, it is important that any regulations that are imposed, or legislative changes made, be enforced with vigour by the criminal justice system,” Smith said.
In the past week, the City of Cape Town’s law enforcement agencies have made 328 arrests and issued 83 796 fines for various transgressions.