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EASTERN CAPE – The Queenstown Serious Organised Crime Investigation team of the Hawks (SOCI), Elliot Local Criminal Record Centre (LCRC) and Cala police arrested a 21-year-old suspect for allegations of copper cable theft and damage to infrastructure yesterday morning at Cala.
On Monday, 5 July 2021 at approximately 07:30, Cala police were conducting a routine patrol when they came across a suspicious-looking white NP 200 bakkie loaded with copper cables. It is alleged that on seeing the police vehicle, the driver of the bakkie sped off, lost control and crashed onto another vehicle. He then fled the scene on foot.
The Hawks and LCRC members were summoned and the suspect stealthily resurfaced at the crime scene. He was positively identified by the driver of the other vehicle. The Hawks’ investigation linked the suspect to the bakkie and the scrapyard where stolen copper cables are often sold.
Sentech which is the company responsible for erecting tower poles for network signal around Cala identified the recovered cables. The estimated value of the damage to the infrastructure and the stolen copper cables is more than R2. 5 million.
The suspect will be charged and will appear at the Cala Magistrates’ Court soon. The investigation to thwart copper cable theft in the area is continuing.