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Zimbabwean trio arrested for allegedly stealing copper cables, holding guards hostage

by Staff reporter
21 Nov 2022 at 05:00hrs | Views
Mpumalanga police on Sunday said they had arrested three suspects, aged between 33 and 35, who allegedly robbed and held security guards hostage and stripped copper cables at a plantation in Machadodorp.

Police spokesperson Brig Selvy Mohlala said the incident happened at about 3.30am on Saturday, when two security guards were patrolling and monitoring the control room at the business.

"They were allegedly accosted by six armed suspects. One of the guards was allegedly tied up with shoelaces and then held hostage by two of the suspects while another [guard] was reportedly tied and locked up inside a control or guard room after being robbed of his mobile phone with its charger by the suspects.

"The suspects are said to have then begun stripping copper cables from the plantation before they fled the scene with the stolen property," said Mohlala.

One of the security guards managed to free himself and sought help. Police were alerted and kept a lookout for the suspects.

"The members noticed a white Colt double-cab bakkie driving at high speed … They gave chase and brought the vehicle to a halt. Six occupants are said to have then jumped out of the vehicle and then ran on foot. The members were on their heels and they apprehended two, who were taken back to where the bakkie was," Mohlala said.

Police searched the car and discovered copper cables. The two suspects were arrested on charges of being in possession of suspected stolen property.

Police confiscated the bakkie for further investigation.

The value of the copper cables is yet to be determined.

Mohlala said the two suspects could be linked to the incident at the business premises. Further investigation led police to a shack in Siyathuthuka location in Belfast.

"Upon arrival they noticed two men who tried to flee but the members managed to arrest one of them though the other one evaded arrest. After being questioned, the man was charged with robbery in relation to the robbery. Meanwhile, police are still in pursuit of the remaining suspects."

The preliminary investigation has revealed the three are Zimbabwean nationals, he said, adding that investigators were working closely with the department of home affairs to ascertain their status in the country. More charges could be added against the three as the investigation continues.

The trio is expected to appear in the Emakhazeni magistrate's court in Belfast on Monday.

Provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Semakaleng Daphney Manamela praised police for the arrests and recovery of the suspected stolen items.

"We are indeed making an indelible mark in the fight against robberies and we hope that the arrests will somehow assist in solving either robberies or theft incidents committed previously," she said.

Source - TimesLive
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