One arrested, two flee as police pounce on transformer thieves in bush

File Pic

A 23-YEAR-OLD man from Tshabalala in Bulawayo was arrested when he was waiting in his car in a bushy area while standing watch for his two friends who were dismantling an electricity transformer worth US$15 000 in Kensington.

Although his two friends managed to evade arrest and are on the police wanted list, he is now in court facing charges of tampering with apparatus for generating electricity.

Gift Ncube (23) appeared at the Bulawayo regional court before Mrs Dambudzo Malunga facing charges of damaging or interfering with any apparatus for generating or transmitting electricity as defined in section 60 A (a) (b) of the Electricity Act, Chapter 13.19

He was remanded out of custody to 3 August for continuation of his case.

The State’s case as presented by the prosecutor, Ms Constance Mathaba was that on 3 March this year Gift and his two accomplices Nkosilathi Vundla and another only identified as Khuya who are still at large connived to vandalise and steal a ZETDC electrical transformer.

The court heard that on the same day at about 6pm, the two used Gift’s vehicle a white Sedan, Toyota Sprinter registration number ADD 8513 which they drove to Willsgrove Farm along Bulawayo Drive in Kensington.

On arrival, the State told the court that Ncube and his two friends identified a transformer they intended to vandalise and steal.

The accused person was assigned to be a sentry while his two accomplices dismantled and vandalised the transformer from the steel stand where it was mounted.

It was the State’s case that Ncube dropped his two accomplices at the transformer stand and drove to a secluded place where he parked his car while observing suspicious security and police patrol movements.

The court was told that police officers from ZRP Hillside observed the accused person who was suspiciously parked and they interviewed him until he indicated to them that he was in the company of his two friends who were dismantling and stealing a transformer.

Ms Mathaba told the court that Ncube was immediately arrested and he voluntarily led the police officers to the place where his accomplices were vandalising the transformer.

On arrival at the place where his accomplices were vandalising the transformer, the two realised that their friend was in the company of police officers and they fled leaving the transformer that was already dismantled into pieces on the ground.

Police recovered the 315 kiloVolts (kV) outdoor step-down electrical transformer valued at US$15 000 vandalised beyond repair.

Breaking News via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to our website and receive notifications of Breaking News by email.