Newcastle’s supercops, Warrant Officer Matthew Rose and Sergeant Ntokozo Mncube, have apprehended three men transporting six stolen MTN cellular tower batteries, ensuring justice is served once again.
The officers from the Newcastle Highway Patrol were monitoring the N11 when they stopped a Toyota sedan with three occupants.
A routine check led Rose and Mncube to discover that the vehicle was carrying six MTN cellular tower batteries. “Three males, aged between 23 and 26, were arrested for possession of suspected stolen property and damage to essential infrastructure,” said Newcastle SAPS spokesperson Lizzy Arumugam.
Further police investigations are currently underway into the matter. However, it’s worth noting that batteries such as those found by the officers are essential for keeping cellphone operations online during loadshedding.
According to MTN South Africa, statistics show that loadshedding has a direct correlation with the spike in vandalism and battery or generator theft at network sites.
The network has faced an escalation of attacks and tower companies recorded a 250% increase in the loss of generators during the period of stage six loadshedding last year.
“The element of crime is leading to ever more dire consequences for the connectivity of people, the smooth running of small businesses, the effective delivery of digital government services, and the safety of individuals during loadshedding,” said MTN South Africa in a statement.
As the country experiences persistently higher levels of loadshedding, the vandalism of base stations has shifted from opportunistic criminality to a more organised form of criminality run by syndicates.
These syndicates will sometimes disguise themselves as third-party contractors to specifically steal batteries.
With the crime impacting scores of people, Warrant Officer Matthew Rose and Sergeant Ntokozo Mncube should be commended for their efforts.
Let us know your thoughts and messages in the comment section below.
We need to have more
diligent crime watch officers such as these on the job. Well done!!!