Infrastructure theft syndicate leader arrested

Infrastructure theft endangers lives and the economy File photo

A 50-year-old man, suspected to be a leader of a syndicate specialising in network infrastructure theft in Balfour, has been arrested following a thorough investigation by  Eskom’s investigation team.

While carrying out the investigation, the team received information pointing to a syndicate leader involved in the theft of, at least, seven transformers in the area.The team was also alerted to the planned stealing of another transformer in the Greylingstad area, and members were dispatched to the would-be crime scene.

Also read: Cash-in-transit heist foiled by police

The following day the vehicle driven by the syndicate leader arrived at the scene and the suspects climbed out approximately 300m from where the transformer was lying on the ground. One 25Kva transformer and a cellphone were recovered. The vehicle the suspects were travelling in, a white Toyota bakkie, was also handed over to the Balfour SAPS and a case of theft was opened.

The most recent case of Andries Koos Mahlangu, who was sentenced to three years in prison for cable theft by the Kriel Magistrate’s Court, is evidence that South African courts have, indeed, started to take this crime seriously.

“There is hope, however, that this crime will ultimately cease to exist,” said Tebogo Rakau, Divisional Executive for Security at Eskom. The courts have started to take infrastructure theft seriously.”

All South Africans are urged to play a role in the fight against these under reported but serious crimes by sending their anonymous SMS tip-offs to a Crime Line on 32211.

Also read:Man and woman in court today over cable theft

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