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Northern Cape
Apr 24 2012 11:59AM
 
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Zandile Luphahla

Police are adamant they will win the fight against copper thieves in the province, and are happy that the community is assisting in the arrest of perpetrators.

Last week a 46-year-old man, Sakhiya Chauke, was arrested for possession of copper cable with a street value of R7645 in Kimberley.

The cable, which weighed 139kg, was found in the boot of a white Nissan Skyline which allegedly belongs to Chauke from Windsorton.

Police spokesperson Const Sergio Kok said they had received a tip-off alerting them to a vehicle travelling from Windsorton to Kimberley with copper in transit.

Kok said as police embarked on routine visits to all scrap metal dealers, a white vehicle was spotted at a dealership in the CBD.

He said the suspect was standing outside the car and waiting for the scrap metal dealer to open for business. Police then approached and asked to search his vehicle.

"In the vehicle's boot the police found the copper cable, gloves and a cutting saw. The suspect could not account for the possession of the copper," the police spokesperson said.

Kok confirmed that three other males who were travelling with the suspect, fled the scene and "more arrests are imminent at this stage".

Early last week, engineers found that copper worth R300000 had been stolen from the Kimberley Hospital. They discovered the theft during the installation of back-up generators.

Kok said they were not sure at this stage if the arrested suspect was linked to the hospital. Chauke appeared in the Kimberley Magistrate's Court, and was granted R500 bail.

zandisilel@thenewage.co.za

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