Tafadzwa Chibukwa, Chronicle Reporter
POLICE in Bulawayo have intercepted a South Africa-registered vehicle that was allegedly smuggling a tonne of stolen copper cables with an estimated value of R200 000.
Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Nomalanga Msebele said police arrested a suspect identified as Linos Sithole also known as ‘Boss Boss’.
“The Bulawayo police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) MMFU received a tipoff from members of the public that a man named Linos Sithole was involved in the buying, cutting, stealing and smuggling of copper cables to our neighbouring country, South Africa,” she said.
Asst Insp Msebele said a follow up was made by members of the CID where the vehicle was located in Magwegwe suburb.
She said there was a high speed chase in the suburb which saw the suspect dumping the vehicle and taking to his heels but he was arrested.
“Police officers searched the vehicle and found copper cables stuffed in the engine, in the glove compartments, under the car chassis and under the spare wheel,” said Ass Insp Msebele.
The vehicle was taken to Drill Hall for investigations.
Asst Insp Msebele appreciated members of the public for bringing reliable information to the police and urged the public to continue bringing information.
“We urge members of the public to report anyone who is seen carrying or cutting copper cables as they are public utilities and Bulawayo relies on them,” she said.
Early this month, police arrested six suspects and intercepted a South Africa- registered vehicle that was carrying 1,6 tonnes of stolen copper cables valued at US$16 000.
Engineering Manager at Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) Mr Lloyd Jaji said the company loses about US$20million annually to cable thefts.
“Most of these cables being stolen are transported to South Africa. In the past there was a challenge but with developments in infrastructure we are now able to detect and nab cable thieves,” he said.–@Sagepapie14