Brazen thieves target cop shop
Walmer police station jail cells forced to shut after copper water pipes stolen
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.