Brazen thieves tar­get cop shop

Walmer po­lice sta­tion jail cells forced to shut af­ter cop­per wa­ter pipes stolen

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - NEWS - Gareth Wil­son wilsong@ti­soblack­star.co.za

THE Walmer po­lice sta­tion has been left high and dry with its jail cells hav­ing to be shut down af­ter brazen thieves stole all the lockup sec­tion’s cop­per wa­ter pipes.

While the cells – which are in a sep­a­rate out­build­ing be­hind the po­lice sta­tion in Main Road – have now been tem­po­rar­ily closed, it emerged yes­ter­day that thieves had also tar­geted the po­lice ad­min build­ing be­hind the sta­tion.

This comes only a month af­ter an over­sight visit at the Walmer satel­lite po­lice sta­tion re­vealed it also had no wa­ter af­ter its pipes were snatched.

The cop­per pipes at the main sta­tion, es­ti­mated at a re- place­ment cost of about R100 000, were stripped from the out­side of the jail cells dur­ing last week­end.

Since the cells were van­dalised, con­tin­gency plans were es­tab­lished which forced Walmer po­lice to de­tain all their sus­pects at Hume­wood po­lice sta­tion.

Po­lice spokes­woman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said mem­bers at the po­lice sta­tion had no­ticed the pipes were stolen when they went into the cells last Sun­day morn­ing and found there was no wa­ter.

“We sus­pect that this hap­pened some­time be­tween Satur­day night and Sun­day morn­ing. It would ap­pear that the pipes as well as the cop­per joints and fit­tings had all been re­moved from the back of the po­lice sta­tion wall,” she said.

“The mem­bers work­ing on Sun­day then did a pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tion and found the wa­ter gush­ing be­hind the cells. The mains were then turned off.

“Later on the same day, po­lice no­ticed that one of the ad­min build­ings be­hind the cells also had all its cop­per pip­ing stolen.”

Naidu said it was believed the thieves first struck the cells and then found more pip­ing on the ad­min build­ing.

Last month, DA leader in the pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­ture Bobby Steven­son con­ducted an unan­nounced an on-site visit at Foun­tain satel­lite po­lice sta­tion in Foun­tain Av­enue, Walmer Town­ship.

Dur­ing his visit, Steven­son found that the satel­lite po­lice sta­tion – which is run by the Walmer po­lice sta­tion – was not per­ma­nently manned and also had no wa­ter as the pipes had been stolen.

Naidu said: “We do not know if the in­ci­dents are linked at this stage.”

She urged all metal deal­ers to call the po­lice should the sus­pects at­tempt to sell the stolen cop­per pipes. “It is a crime to pur­chase stolen prop­erty and we cau­tion any dealer who is con­fronted [with an of­fer] to pur­chase such goods to call the po­lice im­me­di­ately.”

A case of theft is under in­ves­ti­ga­tion. No ar­rests have been made.

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