Two caught stealing wire from lamp pole

Men were seen stripping the copper wire in Baywest Boulevard, with one attempting to hide behind the pole to evade police

Wires stripped from a lamp pole in Baywest Boulevard, Port Elizabeth
Wires stripped from a lamp pole in Baywest Boulevard, Port Elizabeth
Image: supplied

Two men were caught red handed stealing copper wire from lamp poles in Baywest Boulevard on Wednesday morning, with one attempting to hide behind the pole to evade police.

The men, 26 and 24, were arrested shortly before 5am.

Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said the police were patrolling near the Baywest Shopping Centre when they spotted the men fiddling with a lamp pole.

“The men just continued as if nothing was wrong.

"The police van turned around and as they changed direction, the one started to walk away from the lamp pole while the other tried to hide behind the pole,” she said.

“The man walking away was apprehended and a bag he had thrown into the nearby bushes was  confiscated.”

“Part of the lamp pole had been opened and the wires were in the process of being pulled out.

Copper wire taken from a lamp pole
Copper wire taken from a lamp pole

“A search of both backpacks found a torch, screw driver and various other implements. About 25m of cable was also found.”

Naidu said damage to essential infrastructure was a serious offence.

“Street lighting is a major issue and could have dire consequences for motorists if tampered with. The damage and replacement value of these poles is also very expensive,” she said.

The Criminal Matters Amendment Act, which came into effect in June 2016, allows for courts to hand down sentences of up to 30 years in prison for damaging essential service infrastructure.

The men are due to appear on the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

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