Two men who were part of a syndicate operating out of Tembisa in Gauteng, which targeted cellphone tower batteries, were nabbed by a private security company in Verulam outside Durban on Tuesday morning.
Officers spotted them after responding to a call about suspicious behaviour at a local cellphone tower.
“On arrival, reaction officers found a VW Touareg parked in a reverse position and the front gate leading to the tower open. As officers approached, three suspects fled into a nearby bush,” said a spokesperson for Reaction Unit South Africa.
Two were caught after a chase and another bakkie used by other suspects at the scene was seen speeding off.
“The suspects had keys to the locks and it is believed that some members of the syndicate are contractors tasked with maintaining the towers.
“One of the suspects is a Zimbabwean national. Both suspects were allegedly paid R5,000 each for their role in the theft.
“The suspects stated that they were from Tembisa in Gauteng. They arrived in Durban yesterday morning (Monday) and booked into a bed and breakfast in Inanda. During the course of yesterday and last night, they broke into four cellphone towers north of Durban and stole several lithium-ion batteries valued at R30,000 each. The batteries belong to MTN.”