Police recovered 1 000 kilogrammes of stolen copper cables from the suspect’s vehicle after a high-speed chase in Magwegwe, Bulawayo on Tuesday.
Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) spokesperson in Bulawayo Province, Assistant Inspector Nomalanga Msebele said the suspect, Linos Sithole, is on the run. She said:
Bulawayo Criminal Investigations Department received a tip-off from members of the public that there is one Linos Sithole well known as Boss Boss who is involved in cutting, buying, smuggling and transporting copper cables to South Africa.
The CID managed to do a follow-up and located the said vehicle and a high-speed chase was done that led to the accused dumping the vehicle.
1000kg estimated copper cables with a strict value of R200 000 were found stashed in the engine, glove compartments, spare wheel and under the chassis.
… We would love, as the police to appreciate members of the public for bringing in such valuable information.
We also urge the public to report anyone seen carrying or cutting copper cables.
These are public utilities and Bulawayo as a whole is affected by the theft of these copper cables.
Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company, Acting General Manager Lloyd Jaji told State media that there should be a mandatory 30-year jail term for copper cable thieves. Said Jaji:
We have lobbied for an increase in the sentence so that it is increased to 30 years so that it becomes a deterrent.
That is taking a bit of time to be effected, if the sentence had been increased to 30 years, I am sure the cases would be slowly decreasing.
Right now replacements of such equipment take a bit longer because we wouldn’t have the replacement conductor.
At times we end up asking clients to contribute to the purchase of the conductor and then credit their accounts.
In a majority of cases, we would be without the conductor.
More: The Sunday News