About seven culprits have been arrested after they managed to run a smooth cable theft operation on the R42 in Vereeniging, south of Johannesburg, for months, Sedibeng Ster reports.
Their theft in most cases left Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark dark. The operation ended when a sting operation by police officials from the Emfuleni Local Municipality (ELM) closed in on the culprits on Tuesday.
It is alleged that the group did not only steal cable, but also dug out road signs, burned them and sold them at various scrapyards. The group of thieves worked in changing shifts to make sure that they get all the cable so as to sell it at the scrapyard.
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ELM spokesperson Stanley Gaba said theft caused great damage to the municipality. “It also affects residents, as their appliances also get damaged, even the equipment of businesses getting electricity from that box gets damaged.”
Nomvula Thulo, the mayoral committee member for basic services, said the municipality was not insensitive to the damage caused by these spate of vandalism and would make every effort to prevent future damage.
Vereeniging police spokesperson Captain Fikile Funda said seven men were arrested and would appear at Vereeniging Magistrates’ Court soon.
“Five suspects were arrested on Tuesday with hacksaw, pliers and side cutters at the same spot. Two more suspects were arrested and were charged with theft,” he said.
– Caxton News Service