- Twenty-six people were arrested for various crimes, including robbery and malicious damage to property, according to Metrorail.
- The arrests were made between 19 August and 2 September.
- Popular cable theft hot spots include Bellville and Kuils River.
Twenty-six people were arrested in the Western Cape for various crimes ranging from robbery, malicious damage to property and drug trafficking to breaking and entering, according to Metrorail.
It said the arrests were made between 19 August and 2 September.
"Further arrests were also made by the Western Cape security patrol teams in the Bellville/Parow area as well as the Peter Barlow and Bellville and Oostersee hot spots over the past 72 hours," Metrorail spokesperson Nana Zenani said in a statement on Tuesday.
"Metrorail patrol teams responded to a massive fire at the back of the regional train control centre and a nearby substation in Bellville.
"On arrival, the team noticed three suspects sitting near a fire with copper cables burning on the flames. The patrol team further investigated the area and discovered more signal cables that were abandoned at the scene. One suspect managed to escape while two others were apprehended and handed over to the SAPS," Zenani added.
She said another team was conducting a routine patrol along the railway line at Glenhaven when the local neighbourhood watch reported that it had seen people cutting cables on the railway line at Peter Barlow.The team conducted a search of the area and apprehended two suspects hiding in the bushes with approximately 25m of stolen cables.
"The suspects also pointed out more stolen cables that were cut from a nearby pole. They were arrested and taken to the Bellville South police station."
In an effort to stop the increase in cable theft, the Western Cape security team will continue to partner with local communities in combating the theft and vandalism of Prasa assets along the network.
This includes neighbourhood watches and residents who contribute towards not just gathering intelligence, but also in assisting when arrests are made.
"This is demonstrated by the successful arrest of two suspects who were caught in the act of digging up Metrorail cables," Zenani said.
Vigilant residents also reported seeing people carrying spades and walking in the direction of the Oostersee station which has been classified as a vandalism hot spot.
"The security team will host a series of informative workshops with various neighbourhood watch organisations and community forums in Kuils River. These workshops will educate these community organisations regarding the Criminal Procedures Act, Criminal Matters Amendment Act and crime preventive strategies," she added.
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