Now phone lines stolen

Police have arrested four men believed to be involved in a syndicate targeting Telkom telephone cables in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Captain Rassie Erasmus, of the rapid response unit, said thieves were now throwing weighted ropes over the cables in order to pull them to the ground, before cutting them with a hacksaw.

Tampering with the wires triggers an alarm which sends a signal to a local Telkom response unit. “This alarm went off but the suspects had fled by the time the unit arrived.”

However, the police later received information from a passerby that men were tampering with the Telkom lines on Marine Drive. “Rapid response then raced to the scene.”

Police arrested two of the men. The other two fled but were arrested when the dog unit arrived to assist.

The four men were detained at Walmer police station and charged with cable theft.

Erasmus said 60 metres of stolen cable was recovered, with an estimated street value of R15 000.

Network field operations executive Cyril Keswa said Telkom was unable to comment on values related to stolen cables.

“The damage and impact of each incident of copper cable theft is unique and, as such, the timeframe for either replacement, if viable, or the deployment of an alternative technology, differs from incident to incident.”

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Now phone lines stolen