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Some thieves do get caught, but cable theft continues

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Cable, copper and metal theft is an ongoing issue that persists despite operations, interventions or arrests being made.

On Monday, three suspects appeared in the Paarl Magistrates’ Court for the theft and possession of steel plating after being arrested in the Swawelstert farming area.

These three suspects, Jerome Petersen (34), Denzil de Vries (30) and Granville Petersen (22), have been remanded into custody until 16 May according to Paarl police spokesperson, Capt Louise du Plessis.

“Cable and metal theft is an ongoing problem for farmers in the Paarl area and power outages in these areas are detrimental to farming.

“With the assistance of farm watch members, security companies and police patrols, numerous arrests have been made over the last number of months,” she said.

This is also true regarding endless incidents of fruit and livestock theft in the valley, in which farmers suffer millions of rands in lost revenue annually as previously reported by the Paarl Post.

These issues have been reported on extensively over the past few years in this newspaper.

More recently, stakeholders like Paarl farmer Francois de Manielle and Drakenstein Farm Watch’s Daan van Leeuwen Boomkamp, suggested that current law enforcement forces or sentencing in court, is not keeping up with the prevalence of the matter.

For now, Du Plessis added, continuous inspection at dealerships in the Paarl area has also prevented metals being taken and traded there.

“However, theft still continues. Members of the public are urged to report any suspicious vehicles or people to the Paarl police on 021 807 4007/8/9.”

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