Police warn Greytown about scrap metal theft

2008-07-06 00:00

HOME and farm owners in Greytown have been warned to look after any scrap metal or metal fittings following suspicions of massive theft of metal items for sale to local scrap yards.

This comes after selling of metal to two scrap yards operating in the midlands town.

The warning by a senior police officer was prompted by the recent arrests of a number of young children who were found carrying metal items to sell. The children were later released without being charged.

“This is not only a selling of scrap metals, as it has become a massive clean-up campaign. Of late, the town is sparklingly clean. There are no more empty tins lying on our streets,” said the officer.

However, he warned: “Home and farm owners should keep their usable metal safer or sell what they don’t need themselves in order to avoid people intruding into their properties looking for metal to sell.”

There are two scrap yards operating in the town without licences. They were recently removed from the local business area as they were both operating close to a crèche.

“We received a complaint from the crèche about dangerous animals, such as snakes and spiders, entering the crèche from the scrap yards. We then requested them to move to an industrial area. One of them ignored the request, and we charged it for illegal operation. It moved after the court fined it R5 000,” said the officer.

The officer said that although the two scrap yards are operating without licences, they have contributed to the town becoming cleaner.

“But the bad thing about all this is that people bring to them [scrap yards] metal taken from private properties without owners’ consent. The scrap yard owners say they only buy from people who say they found the metals abandoned.

“They also say they buy in sympathy from those who complain about being hungry and desperate for the money,” said the officer.

The Witness understands that children sometimes bunk school in order to collect metal to sell. There are even bakkies that travel from as far away as Msinga and Nkandla to sell metals in the area.

bhans@witness.co.za

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