Armed cable thieves arrested in KZN
Four men have been arrested by members of Eskom’s Security Investigations team in Howick‚ KwaZulu-Natal‚ in connection with the theft of overhead conductor cable which caused a power disruption in the area last week.
The men were found in possession of the stolen cable.
The arrests‚ which were made last Monday‚ came after three of the suspects were observed leaving an area where a high-voltage overhead power line had just been cut‚ Eskom said.
“Our security officers were conducting routine surveillance when they noticed sparks in the night sky along Petrus Stroom Road in Dargle‚ near Howick in KwaZulu-Natal‚” says Tebogo Rakau‚ Divisional Executive for Security at Eskom.
The sparks caught the attention of the security officers because of the power lines that run in that area. When they approached to investigate‚ they saw three men who seemed to be waiting next to the road. A few hours later‚ a white minibus was seen travelling towards the waiting men. When it stopped‚ the men started loading what looked like rolls of cable into the minibus‚ Rakau said.
“The quick reaction of our officers ensured that all suspects‚ including the driver of the minibus‚ were arrested on the scene‚”
A search of the vehicle and the suspects revealed ten rolls of stolen copper conductor cable‚ hacksaws‚ side cutters‚ large pliers and a 9mm Norinco pistol‚ Rakau said‚ .
All evidence and the suspects were handed over to the Howick SAPS.
“Even though the thieves were apprehended very quickly‚ significant damage to important infrastructure had already occurred. In this case‚ it disrupted power distribution between Howick and the Midmar Dam‚ which supplies water to large parts of KwaZulu-Natal‚ including Pinetown‚ Cato Ridge and Umlazi‚” Rakau said.