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Metal cover suspects arrested

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A joint operation between Durbanville SAPS and the City’s Metal Theft Unit led to several arrests after a large quantity of City metal covers were discovered from a house in Morningstar. This was in response to intelligence information supplied by the Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) members and the two Ward Councillors.

During the months of April/ May 2022, the councillors of Wards 112 and 21 became aware of the drastic increase in the theft of metal drain, sewer, fire hydrant and electrical box covers. This was due to the increased number of service requests by the residents and especially members of the NHW.

The modus operandi appears to be as follows: Individuals steal the covers and then take them to a house in Morningstar and get paid some cash. Then the items are broken up, buried in sand on the property and the road reserve until it can be taken to the next scrap metal dealer for the final sale.
On 30 April, Ward Councillor  Hendri Terblanche contacted Mayoral Committee Member for Corporate Services, Alderman Theresa Uys when he tried to get assistance to arrest one the suspects who had two drain covers in a trolley. The suspect got away but fortunately, a member of the NHW had a photograph and could identify the suspect. Alderman Uys contacted the NHW member and residents in Morningstar to confirm his name and the address of the suspected buyer.
Alderman Uys then contacted Durbanville SAPS where she exchanged information.
“SAPS complained that the City Officials at the Langeberg depot refused to open any cases, so I contacted the Executive Director for Safety and Security, Mr Vincent Botto, and within 24 hours, the City’s Metal Theft unit acted on the information,” said Alderman Uys.
SAPS have requested that all City Line Department Managers be encouraged to report the theft of City property and to obtain a case number. This will assist them in being able to investigate the case.
The public is reminded that a reward of up to R5 000 is being offered to anyone who reports any incident or provides information related to theft and vandalism of water and sanitation infrastructure that leads to a successful arrest or recovery of stolen infrastructure.
“The reward of up to R5 000 underscores the City’s efforts to combat the malicious destruction to our infrastructure. Additionally, it will help to encourage residents to be vigilant and to protect public infrastructure. A zero tolerance approach must be adopted if we are serious about tackling this attack head-on. At the end of the day, it is the public’s rates and tariffs that pay for the repair and replacement of infrastructure that is stolen and vandalised.”
“The City, residents and other stakeholders need to all work together to clamp down on theft and vandalism because these selfish acts by thieves and vandals result in sewer blockages and overflows in the streets of our communities. Anyone who provides information can do so confidentially,”said Councillor Badroodien.
All witnessed or potential incidents must be reported immediately to the City’s public emergency call centre:
  • 107 from a landline
  • 021 480 7700 from a cellphone

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