KWAZULU-NATAL – The National Head of the DPCI, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya, has hailed the arrest of the three suspects and praised police in Kwazulu – Natal for their efforts in breaking the back of what appears to be a theft syndicate.

The Hawk’s Port Shepstone Serious Organised Crime Investigation and Port Shepstone K9 arrested three suspects on the N2 on Tuesday, when they found cell phone network batteries that were reported stolen.

Information was received of a van travelling on the N2 to Port Shepstone loaded with a number of cell phone tower batteries. The Hawks together with the Port Shepstone K9 and LCRC immediately responded to the information and the bakkie in question was located around the Hibberdene area where the members noticed five suspects offloading batteries at on outbuilding of a scrapyard.

As police officials approached the property, two suspects fled and three suspects aged between 26 and 35 were arrested on the scene for possession of stolen goods. The members recovered 48 cell phone tower batteries – 24 Vodacom Batteries and 24 Colide batteries weighing around 90kgs each – to the total value of R480 000 and the bakkie estimated at R280 000, which was reported as stolen, in the Berea area of Durban. The van was impounded.

“The accused do not seem to have interest in protecting infrastructure that keep the community to conveniently reach one another. Theft of these components decapitates national capacity to communicate effectively. This backward push need to be stopped and the public are encouraged to report such incidents to the police,” said Lieutenant General Lebeya.

Meanwhile, Albert Ngcameva (32), Brighton Ndunge (34) and John Phiri also referred to as John Watson Lumbe (24) appeared in Hibberdene, Turton District Court on Thursday on charges relating to damages of essential infrastructure and possession of a suspected stolen motor vehicle. The suspects have neen remanded in custody pending their next appearance on 24 February 2020 for a formal bail application.