Moot community concerned over cable theft after thieves strike again

Prasa's repair team can be seen working on damaged cables at the Loftus Station in Pretoria, 3 July 2020. Cables at many of Pretoria and Johannesburg's metrorail stations have been stolen and vandalised since the services have been made available for passengers again during the nationwide lockdown leaving the commuter trains inactive. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The most popular times for this crime are reported to usually be between 2am and 5am in the morning.

Cable theft in Moot, Pretoria is becoming a nagging problem for authorities and security companies in the area.

“Hardly a week goes by without any cables being stolen. I would say there are about two to three cases a week,” said Reinhard Raschke of MCS Security.

Raschke said the neighbourhoods most affected were East Lynne and Môregloed.

“The Rietfontein area is also being targeted between 22nd and 24th avenues in Louis Trichardt Street,” he said.

He said it was important for residents not to confront the criminals.

“Just before the national lockdown, a resident was shot in Wonderboom South when he went to investigate a cable theft case,” he said.

Raschke referred to a case in March when local resident Francois Lubbe was shot in his own driveway. He said cable thieves were sometimes armed.

“Please never confront them – you and your family’s safety comes first. Rather let your local security company, police and metro police know,” he said.

Former local ward councillor Elmarie Linde said in the metro’s region 3, there has been a case of cable theft every night for the past two weeks.

“The most popular times for this crime are usually between 2am and 5am in the morning,” she said.

“Thus it is important that residents are prepared during those times. If the dogs start barking at that time, the chances are good that there are cable thieves at work.”

Linde said cable thieves usually use a bolt cutter and climb up the pole.

“They usually work in groups of four to eight, depending from how many cables they steal.”

She said in some instances it looked like official Tshwane metro vehicles doing work.

“What then happens is the electricity is on and then as soon as the vehicle is gone, the electricity goes off. This means that it was people who went to work under the banner of the metro and stole cable,” she said.

Linde said the most important thing with such a case was that residents should be on the lookout for this.

“But don’t just confront them,” she said.

“Residents can get important details such as their vehicle’s registration number. Then, if the power goes off as soon as they are gone, residents can know that it was a case of cable theft.”

Linde said residents should immediately let the metro police know if cable theft has occurred.

“Cable theft is a big problem for the metro because it takes a long time for the cables to be repaired again because there are so many cases. There is still a limited team working under the lockdown,” she said.

She said residents waited up to 48 hours last week for power to be repaired due to cable theft.

This article first appeared on Rekord Moot and was republished with permission.

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