SAPA hard drives stolen in “strange” robbery

A police docket has been opened into a burglary at the SA Press Association’s Pretoria office at the weekend, days before it will shut down, the agency said on Thursday.

Computer motherboards and hard drives were stripped and taken on Sunday, Sapa’s IT manager Munetsi Chiunda said.

The rest of the equipment was not stolen. Chiunda said it had since been moved to the Johannesburg office for safekeeping.

Chiunda arrived at the office on Sunday after a journalist discovered the break in, and found equipment and furniture had been moved around.

There were visible signs of forced entry on one of the doors. The thieves tried to remove the screws from the lock of the second door, but failed.

“It appears as if they gained entrance using the fire emergency door,” he said.

Sapa’s editor Mark van der Velden said there was something unusual about the burglary.

“Generally, Sapa’s IT equipment is so old and slow it’s hard to believe any ordinary burglar would want to steal it.

“The fact that the burglars took time to dismantle computers inside the office, and then took only the hard drives and motherboards, is very strange.”

He hoped police would investigate and arrest the perpetrators.

Sapa will send its last story at midnight on March 31.

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SAPA hard drives stolen in “strange” robbery