In a decisive move against copper wire theft and damage to crucial infrastructure, the South African Police Service in the Northern Cape apprehended six men, aged between 30 and 50, on November 9, 2023.
Acting on intelligence received at around 3:30 a.m., the Northern Cape Provincial Organised Crime Investigation Unit swiftly responded to reports of Transnet copper wire theft near Dronfield, close to the N12. Coordinated efforts from the Kimberley K9 Unit and the Local Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management unit were deployed to aid in the mission.
The suspects, traveling in a maroon Toyota Yaris, were intercepted and inspected in the Kimberley CBD on their way to the crime scene. Initially claiming to be headed to Beaufort West with no incriminating items, further investigation revealed their possible involvement in cable theft and infrastructure damage.
The maroon Toyota Yaris, bearing Gauteng license plates, was tracked by members of the Bloemfontein K9 Unit. The subsequent search of the vehicle uncovered tools and 420 kg of copper wire, valued at R90,480, believed to be property of Transnet. The estimated cost of infrastructure damage reached R140,000.
The six individuals, hailing from Daveyton in Gauteng, are currently in custody on suspicion of theft and damage and are scheduled to appear in the Kimberley Magistrates Court.
Lt. Gen. Koliswa Otola, the provincial commissioner for the Northern Cape, emphasized the severity of crimes causing damage to vital infrastructure. She assured the public that the South African Police Service remains committed to tracking down and penalizing individuals involved in such activities.
The success of this operation highlights law enforcement’s dedication to combating issues like copper wire theft, underscoring the importance of collective efforts in safeguarding the region’s critical infrastructure.