In a relentless crackdown on livestock theft, the South African Police Service (SAPS) Anti Stock Theft Task Team in Newcastle has achieved a remarkable feat, successfully recovering livestock worth over R270,000 within a span of just nine days.
Lizzy Arumugam, the spokesperson for the Newcastle SAPS, attributed the task team’s extraordinary success to a meticulously planned intelligence operation that commenced on 1 July 2023, in Normandien.
“The Anti Stock Theft Task Team responded to information regarding a suspect involved in stock theft in Normandien on 1 July 2023, where two horses to the value of R40,000 were reported stolen,” stated Arumugam. She emphasised that the task team promptly apprehended the suspect, ultimately leading to the recovery of both stolen horses.
Continuing their relentless pursuit, the task team apprehended another suspect in Normandien on 2 July 2023, after 16 sheep, valued at R30,000, were reported stolen. All 16 sheep were successfully retrieved by the dedicated officers.
Expanding their operation, the Anti Stock Theft Task Team managed to reclaim three unidentified cattle near Waterval Correctional Service in the Utrecht area on 3 July 2023. Arumugam underscored that the recovered cattle held an estimated value of R40,000.
A red Bonsmara ox, worth R18,000, was then reported stolen from Waterval Correctional Service on 5 July 2023 and subsequently slaughtered.
Following crucial information regarding the incident, Arumugam explained that the Crime Intelligence (CI) unit, in collaboration with the Anti Stock Theft Unit, tracked down the suspect and successfully retrieved the branded skin, head, and carcass of the stolen Bonsmara ox.
Setting their sights on Madadeni, the task team executed an operation on 7 July 2023, after receiving reports of ten cattle, valued at R106,000, being stolen from a kraal in Section 7, Madadeni.
During the operation, nine of the stolen cattle were discovered grazing in a field situated in Osizweni. “One ox is still unaccounted for, and police investigations are ongoing,” revealed Arumugam.
Then, on 9 July 2023, the task team arrested yet another suspect who had stolen 14 Nguni goats, worth R45,000.
The arrested individual has already made an appearance in the Madadeni Magistrate’s Court, with further investigations into the matter currently underway, according to Arumugam.
The relentless efforts of the SAPS Anti Stock Theft Task Team have not only led to the recovery of livestock worth a substantial amount but have also demonstrated their commitment to combating livestock theft in the region. As this issue continues to plague communities, it is vital to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities to the authorities.
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