Cape Town – Would-be cable thieves are increasingly unsuccessful as Metrorail’s stepped-up security measures catch them in the act.
Since Metrorail deployed additional armed guards, night vision equipment, night drone surveillance and armed vehicle patrols from the beginning of March this year, seventy suspects have been netted.
Sixty are already awaiting trial after being charged under the Criminal Matters Amendment Act for damage to essential infrastructure and malicious damage to property. PRASA opposed bail in all cases.
This past weekend ten suspects met their match; two on Friday 18 May, seven on Saturday 19 May’s and another on Sunday 20 May 2018. The suspects were apprehended with evidence (tools, equipment and 25 meters of copper bearing cable).
Regional manager Richard Walker said both individuals and members belonging to syndicates have been apprehended: ‘Over this past weekend a concerned stakeholder alerted me to suspicious activity and within minutes the team was able to respond positively’.
Forensic teams ensured that the evidence was sealed and handed to the respective SAPS stations at Nyanga, Khayelitsha, Lentegeur and Claremont. The gathering of forensic evidence extends recovery time but is invaluable in securing convictions.
‘We commend Rapid Rail Response Unit and our Protection Services teams for their diligence and tireless efforts to eradicate cable theft from the rail system –it shows how powerful and effective collaboration can be’ Walker concluded.
The first successful conviction in the Western Cape is expected within the next few weeks and Walker encouraged the public to continue reporting suspicious activity near railway property: ‘All reports are investigated, treated in strictest confidence and many have contributed to successes’.
Rewards of up to R25 000 are payable for information leading to successful convictions.
Metrorail Protection Services hot-line (021) 449 4336/5056
RRPU Cape Town (platform 1) (021) 443 4325
RRPU Bellville (021) 941 6800
RRPU Philippi /Stock Road (021) 370 1011
RRPU Retreat (021) 710 5129
RRPU Radio Control/ OPS room (021) 449 4309/10
SAPS Crime Stop 0860 10111
Crime line Sms 32211
Issued: Marketing & Communication (Courtesy images: Metrorail)