First for Durban as cable thief is jailed for 15 years

By Post Reporter Time of article published Jul 17, 2019

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Durban - The City has welcomed a 15 year jail sentence handed to a cable thief and said it was first time such a conviction has been handed to an accused in Durban for this type of crime. 

In a statement this week eThekwini Municipality said they had a zero-tolerance approach against any theft of City infrastructure, particularly copper electricity cables. 

The convicted person has already began serving their jail sentence. 

The City said the suspect was arrested by neighborhood watch patrols on September 1, 2017 at 1:30am with 500 metres of bare copper cable on Marianhill Road in Pinetown. 

The value of these cables were in the region of R27 400. 

Speaking about the arrest the City said the residents had notified their neighbourhood patrols who managed to apprehend the suspect. 

Barbara Cloete, Forensic Investigator from the Infrastructure Theft Department said: “This is a major victory for the City. It shows that we are serious about our approach and we will not tolerate any theft of infrastructure. This particular criminal act has a direct, negative impact on our residents as they are left without power for many hours.” 

She added that cable theft is a major challenge as millions of rand are lost. 

"Business owners also suffer a great loss in production and profit while household consumers suffer damages to electrical appliances and food spoils. The dark and poorly lit roads can lead to fatalities and a guise for criminals to operate.”

Criminals are also warned that besides obtaining a jail sentence, cable theft is life-threatening. Residents are urged to report cable theft by contacting 0800 311 961.

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