Theft ‘rife and not ending’
Between January and December last year, over 2 000 incidents of battery theft were reported countrywide at MTN towers alone, MTN’s general manager: network operations, Paul Ernest, has said.
He said the high levels of theft of cellphone tower batteries was “worrying and not ending”. According to Paul, as many as 13 450 batteries were stolen and that more than 700 batteries were stolen in January this year in 122 incidents.
He said despite additional security measures, towers were still under siege but said they have invested in technology and had hoped this will help reduce theft incidents and lead to arrests and confiscations
“Equipment such as generators, air conditioners, security infrastructure and fencing is also being damaged and stolen. The theft of diesel and cables is also rife,” he said.
This week the police elite unit, the Hawks’ Port Shepstone Serious Organised Crime Investigation and K9 unit in KwaZulu-Natal, pounced on three suspects around the Hibberdene area and seized 48 cellphone tower batteries valued at R480 000.