Copper thieves likely to spend Christmas in jail

Two suspected copper thieves will likely spend Christmas in prison after their arrest in the East Rand, said Eskom.

In a statement on Thursday, the power utility said the two were arrested in Claystep near Tembisa last week.

The two were apprehended when they illegally entered Eskom’s Claystep substation and helped themselves to rolls of copper cable, which were found in their possession at the time of arrest. The arrest came after a security sensor picked up unauthorised human movement at the substation, which triggered an alarm, said the power utility.

The response team found three suspects at the scene and apprehended them. They were handed over to the Tembisa South African Police Service while their other accomplice managed to escape arrest.

Police are on the lookout for the third suspect.

Eskom has in the past few weeks recorded an increasing number of cases involving cable theft. This is not necessarily an indication of an increase in the rate of cable theft but rather an indication of our firm stance, stringent measures and decisive action in the fight against cable theft.

The utility stressed that cable theft is a major cause of power supply disruptions.

Vandalism and theft at power stations, substations and mini substations are particularly problematic as it can leave large sections of affected communities without power for extended periods of time. This can be days or even weeks, said Eskom.

Eskom has encouraged residents to take a stand against cable and electricity theft by reporting perpetrators via anonymous tip-offs on SMS to Operation Khanyisa on 32211. SMSes are charged at R1 per SMS.

Source: South African Government News Agency