Cable thieves on the rampage in the west

The west of Pretoria is under siege by criminals who are stealing and vandalising electricity infrastructure.

Community policing forum spokesperson, Thesigan Pillay, said sub-stations that serviced the area have been under particular threat by criminals.

“Power outages are now common in the area and residents live in constant fear that electricity supply will be interrupted due to cable theft,” he said.

He said the power interruptions had “devastating and irreversible consequences”.

“Hospitals in the area have complained of constant power interruptions. This places the lives of patients in intensive care under particular threat.”

Pillay said businesses were incurring huge losses because they could not operate during outages.

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“The police have also complained that criminals found it easier to move around in the dark neighbourhoods,” he said.

“They said the problem is made worse because the telephone system does not work and it is difficult for people to contact them for help.”

Pillay said CPF members have been placed on high alert and patrolling the sub-stations.

He said recently, cable thieves set fire to the sub-station on the corner of WF Nkomo Street and Kwagga Road in Proclamation Hill.

“The swift response by residents and the CPF prevented the theft of cables and further damage to the property,” he said.

He said the CPF had, therefore, demanded that the police and municipality prioritise the protection of high-risk areas where cable theft happened more often.

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“We also urge residents to report suspicious behaviour around high-risk areas,” he said.

Pillay confirmed that the CPF was offering a reward of R10 000 to anyone who could provide them with information leading to successful arrests, prosecution and conviction of those involved.

“We require information about not only those who carry out such crimes but also those who buy the stolen goods,” he said.

Pillay may be contacted at 084-764-9374.

Cable theft is on the rise in the west. Photo: Supplied

 

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Kayla van Petegem

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