LAW & ORDER
PLETTENBERG BAY - The Bossiesgif and Qolweni communities managed to flush out alleged copper cable thieves following a spate of incidents in recent weeks.
On Friday evening, the Bossiesgif and Qolweni communities apprehended a group of alleged copper cable thieves and, according to Plettenberg Bay Crime Prevention Associatiton (PBCPA) operations head Otto Olivier, handed them over to local police.
"Cable theft has increased dramatically in the past few weeks. We strongly believe with this Qolweni community action/ involvement, copper cable theft will decrease significantly," Olivier said. About two weeks ago, pump station 19 in Piesang Valley, as well as the access gate, was badly vandalised and copper cables were missing.
Soon thereafter it was discovered that the redundant transformer next to the Formosa Garden Village had also been burgled. Thieves stole oil and left the tap open. This resulted in oil leaking out and running into the Formosa Garden Village driveway. Last month, cables were stolen from the Kwanokuthula substation.
In July, local crime fighters apprehended three suspects after various lengths of cable were stolen along Airport Road and Harkerville.
The Bitou Municipality's electrical department said last week that it believed a syndicate could be involved in the thefts. In a statement, the municipality's communication team said that these acts were a risk to human life and the damage to infrastructure could be severe. "It can lead to unnecessary, unplanned and extensive power failures. It is very costly to replace electrical infrastructure and this kind of activity can have a huge impact on the budget," the statement read.
They urged residents to report cable theft and any signs of electrical tampering on the Bitou Customer Care line 044 5013174/5, or e-mail customercare@plett. gov.za, or by contacting police on 10111.