Panga-wielding robbers robbed two guards at the Port Alfred sewerage works in Centenary Park on Thursday May 16 and stole R100,000 worth of copper cables and pipes.
TotT first received a tip-off about the incident from a source in Ndlambe Municipality who previously warned of inadequate security at the facility. There was a subsequent report about the incident from MultiSecurity, confirmed by SAPS.
A response officer attended an alarm at the plant at 4.20am last Thursday and asked for the police when he discovered the guards had been robbed and cables stolen. SAPS attended shortly after.
MultiSecurity control room also contacted the manager of the guards, who said he would come out at 6am.
According to the MultiSecurity report, five men armed with pangas entered the facility and robbed the guards of their cellphones.
They then stole cables from the pump station.
SAPS spokeswoman Captain Mali Govender said the incident had happened at about 3.15am. She said the value of the stolen cables and pipes amounted to R100,000.
“No arrests have been made. A case of theft is under investigation,” Govender said.
The theft of cables and pipes from the plant follows numerous incidents of copper pipe theft from homes and businesses in Port Alfred in recent weeks, especially over weekends. Even the SAPS detectives unit in Masonic Street had pipes stolen.
The sewage plant itself has been targeted by copper cable thieves numerous times over the years, and there were even reports of shots being fired at the facility in previous MultiSecurity incident reports.
The most serious incident took place in July 2017, when armed robbers stormed the guardhouse at the plant and shot and killed one of the security guards before taking his cellphone, a radio and panic button, and the cellphone of the murdered guard’s colleague.
The perpetrators were never found.
At the time our source said: “Fencing is missing and the guardhouse itself has no electricity. How can they be expected to guard and secure the facility under such circumstances?”