By Own Correspondent
BULAWAYO – Police in Bulawayo have recovered copper cables worth US$12,000 after smashing a syndicate that has been targeting and terrorising the city’s western suburbs.
A tip-off from members of the public gave away the thieves who have been operating in Pelandaba, Njube, and Lobengula suburbs in the past weeks, city police spokesman Abednico Ncube said.
“On Sunday morning we received information that there were people who had stolen some copper cables and that one of them was injured,” Ncube said.
“The police Minerals, flora and Fauna Department that deals with the issue of copper cables among others reacted to the information and arrested Simon Tapfuma, 32, from Magwegwe and Polite Ncube from Lobengula West who was injured during the committing of the crime when they were felling the poles.”
Police recovered 6 roles of copper cables and a yellow Kombi which was being used for transportation.
Ncube said detectives were pursuing other members of the gang in connection with other unsolved cable theft cases around the city.
“Within a week we suffered four cases of copper cables, one resulting in this arrest and recovery; the other we managed the recovery of 25 roles of copper cables without arrest while two more cases are still being investigated,” he said.
Rampant theft of copper cables across the country often results in spontaneous blackouts around towns and cities, giving thieves even more cover to target people’s residences at night.
The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) says it’s losing equipment the runs into millions of dollars every year, including cables, due to theft.