Johannesburg - Patrolling metro police officers apprehended men who were allegedly found stealing cables from an underground tunnel in the Joburg CBD.
The men were caught in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Joburg Metro Police’s Wayne Minnaar said officers who were on patrol got a tip-off from security guards that they had heard loud cutting sounds coming from an underground tunnel in Pritchard Street.
“Officers proceeded to the location and found three males stealing cables and placing them inside the bags that are normally used by trolley pushers for the recycling of plastic bottles.
“The suspects were arrested, detained at Johannesburg Central police station and will likely appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court (this) week for theft and possession of stolen property,” he said.
Three weeks ago, City Power announced that it had lost at least R2 billion in non-technical losses, which include cable theft.
That, the power utility said, had led to continuous power outages towards the end of last year, mostly caused by cable theft in the city.
City of Joburg also stated that it could not promise its residents an uninterrupted electricity supply as cable theft has set them back.
Since the start of the current financial year, the city is said to have lost cables worth more than R14 million to theft, plunging many suburbs into darkness for many days, and some for weeks.
A cable thief caught with electrical copper cables while trying to steal more in April last year was charged with tampering with infrastructure and cable theft and was handed an eight-year sentence last month.