Suspect flees as police find stolen copper cable worth R53 000

2011-09-27 00:00

POLICE arrested two suspects for theft of 417 kg copper, with a street value of about R53 000, at a city scrapyard during a random weekly check yesterday morning.

Another suspect managed to flee before the police could apprehend him.

The check formed part of the SAPS’s Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Scrap Metal Operations in conjunction with Telkom, Eskom, Transnet and the municipality.

The copper wire was neatly packed into sacks in bakkies at the premises of Midlands Metals CC in Hoosen Haffajee Street.

The scrap yard owner, who did not want to be named, said he did no wrong because he did not buy the copper from the culprits.

“I get about six people in my scrap-yard a month who want to sell me copper — even old ladies — because they want to make a quick buck.

I’ve been in this business since 1975 and I know what and what not to buy. I can’t stop people from driving to my yard,” he added.

The police visited eight scrap yards in the CBD yesterday to enforce the Second Hand Goods Act.

The police told The Witness that one of the vehicles carrying the goods was reported stolen.

Police spokesperson, Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said copper theft takes place every day and it is a serious offence.

The vehicles were impounded and the cable returned to Telkom.

According to the July 2011 SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) copper theft barometer that measures and monitors copper cable theft monthly, R15,84 million worth of copper was stolen in July.

Telkom group communication and brand senior specialist, Pynee Chetty said copper cable theft remains the biggest inhibitor to Telkom’s capability to improve service levels.

“This is damaging businesses, depriving our customers of a basic service and, in some cases, adversely affecting their security,” Chetty added.

Chetty said Telkom employs armed guards, and uses alternatives to copper cable as part of its strategies to combat the problem.

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