NELSPRUIT – Three suspects were arrested in two separate incidents by members of the police at Balfour who reportedly caught them with copper wire cables. The suspects, aged between 31 and 37 are expected to appear at the Balfour Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, 20 July 2022. They are facing various charges, including possession of suspected stolen properties as well as tampering with essential infrastructure.
According to the information, on Monday, 18 July 2022 at about 22:00, police attended a complaint at Dipaleseng sewage plant after being notified of an incident of tampering with infrastructure in the area. Upon arrival, the members scanned the premises they then came across a man who was found in the vicinity lying next to the fence. On closer inspection, the astute members realized that he was holding a bag and inside was a grinder as well as some copper cables estimated to the value of about R100 000-00.
The 37-year-old suspect failed to give a proper account of the origins of the copper cables in his possession hence he was arrested and charged for tampering with essential infrastructure. Preliminary investigation has since revealed that the suspect is an employee who works as a security guard at the Dipaleseng Municipality.
Meanwhile on a separate yet related incident, today 19 July 2022 at about 10:00, am police at Balfour conducted a roadblock near R23 Road. Whilst on duty, the members stopped a bakkie with some occupants and then conducted a search. The members managed to discover copper wire which is suspected to be that from Telkom. The estimated value of the copper is about R16 000-00. One suspect attempted to flee on foot but was shortly arrested.
The driver of the bakkie, aged 31 and his crew, aged 32 were both charged for possession of suspected stolen properties.
The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has commended members for remaining true to their call, thereby bringing perpetrators to book. “We are really making a notable mark in dismantling the copper theft market and urge the public not to buy stolen goods but rather report to the authorities,” said Lieutenant General Manamela.