6 found cutting cable

2019-07-25 15:44
Rolled up cable lies in Hutchison Road after six men attempted to steal it on Wednesday morning during peak-hour traffic.

Rolled up cable lies in Hutchison Road after six men attempted to steal it on Wednesday morning during peak-hour traffic. (chelsea pieterse)

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An observant Scottsville resident scared off brazen cable thieves who left a “180-metre tail of cable behind them” as they fled after realising the game was up.

Greg Ender was on his way to work at around 8.20 am on Wednesday when he spotted six men in yellow reflective vests standing near the Telkom box and manhole which the cables run under.

“There are usually Telkom staff working by the box so I didn’t really think much of it until I looked at the bakkie.

“It was an old model white bakkie. It was just a normal bakkie. It didn’t have any branding like the Telkom vehicles usually do,” said Ender.

He said he drove past the men and then did a u-turn and started approaching them.

“The bakkie was reversed up to the kerb near the manhole. I drove up, and parked across the road next to them. As I pulled up, all six men were looking right at me.

“I will never forget the driver’s eyes. They were wild. You could see it was dawning on him that I knew they were involved in criminal activity.

“They all then piled into the bakkie and raced off, leaving this tail of cable trailing behind them as they drove up Hutchinson Road,” he said.

“It was just so brazen. It was broad daylight and the busiest part of the morning. People must have just driven past thinking it was Telkom working on the cables.”

Ender said it was suspected that the men had gone to the manhole halfway up Hutchinson Road and cut the cable with a hacksaw.

It is thought they then went to the manhole near the bottom of the road and attached the cable to the back of their bakkie so they could “yank it out like spaghetti”.

“The cable was very heavy and is as thick as my wrist,” said Ender.

“This definitely was not a five-minute job. It must have taken them some time to cut the cable and start pulling it out. I am sure the whole thing was thought out in advance.”

He said the men appeared to be in their mid-20s and early-30s

“I called the police and Telkom’s emergency vehicle arrived within five minutes. I was told that the men are suspected to be part of a syndicate who have been operating in the Hayfields area, also in broad daylight,” he said. However, this could not be confirmed when The Witness got to Hutchison Road.

Scottsville residents took to community WhatsApp groups to share pictures of the stolen cable and circulate information about the six men and the bakkie used.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  cable theft

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