Thief who targeted cellphone towers gets jail terms totalling 500 years

David Jenkins was handed prison sentences totalling 500 years. Stock image.
David Jenkins was handed prison sentences totalling 500 years. Stock image.

A man who admitted to 25 thefts at cellphone towers in the Western Cape was given prison sentences totalling 500 years on Thursday.

David Jenkins, 30, reached a plea and sentencing agreement with the state over the theft of equipment worth nearly R1.7m in January and February of 2018.

The Cape Town regional court sentenced him to 20 years' imprisonment for each of the 25 counts of theft, with seven years of each sentence suspended. The remaining 13-year prison terms will be served concurrently.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said Jenkins mainly targeted MTN towers in Dunoon, Table View, Paarl, Bellville, Parow, Strand, Lwandle, Mowbray, Hermanus, Hawston, Durbanville, Duinefontein, Melkbosstrand, Kraaifontein, Eerste River, Goodwood, Athlone, Delft, Elsies River and Milnerton.

He stole broadband equipment in a series of crimes which the prosecutor, Ronelle Stone, said were particularly difficult to solve.

“There is a sharp increase in these types of offences in the jurisdiction of this court. The consequences of these offences are of a very serious nature and the punishment imposed should serve to protect society,” said Stone.

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