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Cape Town warns would-be metal thieves with new billboard campaign<p>The billboards are being flighted at metal theft hotspots around the metro, conveying the direct message to metal thieves. "Don't steal cable, we will catch you". The City has set up a 24-hour toll-free hotline (0800 110077) linked to a rewards system for tip-offs leading to the arrest and conviction of cable thieves.</p><p>'Stealing cable carries a heavy prison sentence – with 12 years handed to a metal thief caught by the City last year. We are expanding our patrols, actively rewarding the public for helping us, and using technology to turn up the heat on metal thieves. Those stealing cable should know that the City's new Eye-in-the-sky is now watching and recording hotspots, including with infrared cameras at night.</p><p>'The public can help us bust metal thieves, with rewards on offer for information leading to arrests and convictions of metal thieves. Call the City's 24-hour toll-free tip-offs line now on 0800 110077, anonymous tip-offs are also most welcome,' said Mayor Hill-Lewis.<br></p><p><span></span></p><figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:948px;" /></figure>​​Alderman JP Smith said that City policing operations recovered over 1 700 kilograms of stolen metal in nine months between July 2023 and March 2024, including over 53 000 metres of stolen cabling.<p></p><p>'Our Metals Theft Unit also made 115 arrests, impounded 10 vehicles, issued over 2 380 fines, and conducted over 1 700 scrapyard inspections over this period. We are publicly appealing to scrapyards: instead of buying the stolen cable, keep the thief there and we will pay you a far greater reward than what you will get from selling our stolen cable.  </p><p>'Thanks to the public getting more involved in helping to combat cable theft, City policing operations have responded to 519 reports of metal theft, 70% more than the previous year.</p><p>'The scale of the problem tells us that we are not dealing with just small operators, but rather highly organised syndicates targeting our critical infrastructure. The City is throwing many resources at this problem, but we definitely need to see national reforms to turn the screws on the illicit scrap metal trade,' said Alderman Smith.</p><p>Councillor Beverley van Reenen, Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, said the City is repairing and replacing stolen cables and vandalised street lights at record pace, with 1 120 street lights cable replacements in April 2024 alone. </p><p>'In some parts of the City, repaired streetlight poles are suffering repeat cable theft almost immediately, which is why we need the public to help us catch and convict cable thieves. Working together, we can keep the lights on. Our residents can help by adopting the infrastructure in their neighbourhoods and alerting us to suspicious activity such as theft, vandalism and illegal connections as part of our Let's ACT Protect Your Power campaign for safer and brighter communities.</p><p>'The City is also investing to make our infrastructure more resilient, and to reduce the scope for vandalism over time, with more than R4bn in electricity grid upgrades, maintenance and security measures over three years,' said Councillor van Reenen.<br></p><p><br></p>2024-05-26T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#3bd13869-3207-4532-9db7-a4ca95867a50;L0|#03bd13869-3207-4532-9db7-a4ca95867a50|JP Smith;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GPP|#3f57ea8a-3adb-4a8f-bb3a-0a20a62c7fe9;GP0|#b35f3050-912a-47d6-ae51-883999916a58;L0|#0b35f3050-912a-47d6-ae51-883999916a58|Langa;GP0|#b14aaeff-a3ea-40e5-9350-1440d1c04327;L0|#0b14aaeff-a3ea-40e5-9350-1440d1c04327|Metal and cable theft;GP0|#90b49a62-96e2-436a-9c68-187c9ab33534;L0|#090b49a62-96e2-436a-9c68-187c9ab33534|Mayor10

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