Be aware of copper thieves this December

HILLCREST police in conjunction with the CPF is sending a stern message to the public to always have their home secured and garden gates locked.

Hillcrest SAPS communications officer constable N Manqele said, residents are warned everyday not to leave their gates opened or their alarm system off because thieves are on a look for main pipes, taps and other valuable metals.

“Thieves are very good when it comes to the cutting of copper into smaller pieces and selling it to different places,” he said.

“Once the metal is cut we cannot identify where it came from and makes finding the suspect very difficult.”

He said that the general public is not usually aware of this type of crime until someone is directly affected by it.

“Residents come home from work to either find their house without electricity, or flooded without water, when their cables are cut or their piping stolen,” he added.

Manqele offered some tips to the public for preventing copper theft.

He said that residents should secure their entrances to their property.

“Make sure your gates are locked and provide more than a token barrier to entry and if people can just walk up to your cables or pipes then your property becomes a soft target,” he said.

“Support your local SAPS and CPF and attend your local CPF meetings if you can and network the information that you as a community have with the SAPS.”

Manqele added that if one can’t actively participate then at least be on the lookout for strangers in the area or suspicious behaviour.

“Residents do not need to leave the safety of their homes, or place themselves in danger, but just report this suspicious behaviour to your local community watch and SAPS,” he added.

“Mark the property so that if your property is stolen to ensure a successful conviction you will need to prove that you are the legal owner.”

He urged residents to use asbestos pipes instead of copper.

To report copper theft contact SAPS on 031 765 9116.

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