3 arrested for stealing MTN, Vodacom tower batteries
Three people have been arrested after they allegedly stole batteries from cellphone towers belonging to service providers MTN and Vodacom.
Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane said the three men were arrested in Garsfontein, Pretoria east on Thursday morning.
Nkosi-Malobane said approximately 16 Vodacom batteries and 24 MTN batteries were stolen from Carletonville, west of Gauteng.
She said the arrest comes after a joint operation by the Gauteng Organised Crime private securities and South African Police Service (SAPS) K9 Unit and flying squad received a tip-off regarding the syndicate that was stealing batteries from cellphone towers and selling it to neighbouring countries.
During the operation, members of Vodacom and MTN positively identified the batteries at the house in Garsfontein.
The batteries were valued at an estimated R240 000.
A white Ford Ranger double cab bakkie which was allegedly used to transport the batteries was also confiscated.
“I am delighted that the partnership between the private security companies and law enforcement agencies in Gauteng is beginning to yield desirable results.
"The latest arrest of the suspects linked to syndicate cellphone batteries theft is a welcome relief. Cellphone companies have been robbed several times and a huge amount of money was lost due to this kind of theft," Nkosi-Malobane said.