Reitumetse Makwea
Digital Intern
2 minute read
4 May 2021
10:01 am

Three arrested for theft of cellphone tower batteries in KZN worth R1.2 million

Reitumetse Makwea

Vryheid police received information on Sunday morning about stolen cellphone tower batteries being transported in a taxi.

KZN police officers recovered stolen cellphone towers worth R1.2 million in Vryheid.

Three men have been arrested for the theft of cellphone tower batteries worth R1.2 million in Vryheid, Durban on Sunday morning.

Vryheid police received a tipoff about stolen cellphone tower batteries being transported in a taxi.

KZN provincial police spokesperson Nqobile Gwala said an operation was put in place and various role players from the SAPS proceeded to Vryheid.

Gwala said they spotted the vehicle on the R34 highway, which was stopped by the officers. Upon searching the vehicle, eight cellphone tower batteries were recovered.

“Police also seized various housebreaking implements such as bolt cutters, crowbars, grinders, five-pound hammers and other items,” she said.

Gwala said the initial investigation conducted by the police at the scene revealed the batteries were stolen from Nongoma earlier on Sunday.

The suspects, aged between 20 and 40, were arrested on charges of possession of stolen property as well as possession of housebreaking implements.

“The theft of cellphone tower batteries has a negative impact on telecommunication services. Police officers in the province are on alert to ensure that those involved in this crime are brought to book,” said Gwala.

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Elsewhere, Johannesburg Central Station commander Brigadier Ivan Perumal commended good working relationship between the police and Oriental Plaza Fordsburg security guards.

This was after police arrested three suspects aged 41 to 45 for business robbery at the Oriental Plaza yesterday morning around 10am.

According to police two of the suspects are security guards working at Oriental Plaza.

“A 32-year-old female employee was collecting money this morning at pay stations situated at the entrances of the shopping centre,” police spokesperson Xoli Mbele said.

“She was guarded by a security guard who turned out to be one of the suspects. When collecting money at the last pay station; he was confronted by a suspect who threatened her with a firearm and demanded money.”

Mbele said the security guard who was with her told her to surrender the money which was loaded into the basket.

“The suspect pepper sprayed her and they were forced to lie down.  He took an undisclosed amount of money before he fled the scene,” he said.

“The woman screamed for help and the security guards came to her rescue. The suspect was apprehended outside the shopping centre.”

Mbele said the money, pepper spray and firearm were recovered and a preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect had schemed with two security guards.

“The investigation is ongoing and the suspects will appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court shortly,” Mbele said