A police officer stationed at ZRP Tshabalala and his three accomplices have been arrested for stealing copper cables worth US$6,000 from a ZETDC substation in Imakhandini.

According to court documents, the quartet disguised themselves as ZETDC employees by wearing company business suits and attempted to distract the security officer who was on duty by engaging her in conversation while stealing copper cables.

However, they were chased by community members who became suspicious because they saw the suspects loading copper cables into a vehicle that did not belong to the electricity distribution company.

The police officer, Tinashe Tawunakamoi (26 years old), appeared before the Western Commonage Magistrate’s Court along with his co-accused, Samuel O’Shea (34 years old), Walter Magodo (35 years old), and Afo Karanda (32 years old).

Kumunage Western District Magistrate Sibongile Msiba-Marundidzi granted the four bail of US$100 each.

“On 06 January 2024, at approximately 0630 hours, the defendants drove to the ZETDC Forestvale Substation, Emakhandini, Bulawayo using a silver Toyota Regius driven by Shumba. “Upon arrival, they parked the vehicle outside the substation premises,” said prosecutor Melissa Dube.

“Magudo and Karinda, who were wearing business suits with ZETDC written on them, entered the substation premises where they mistakenly stated to the security guard who was guarding the building that they were employees of ZETDC. They informed the security guard that they wanted to take some copper cables from the substation. The security guard asked He booked them into the event book and indicated to her that they would book later after completing their mission.

Dube said the two moved around the substation and informed the security guard that they were hearing some strange noises coming from the east side of the substation where there are transformers.

“They ordered the security guard to go and check what was happening. The security guard walked in the aforementioned direction. While the security guard was away, the two used a saw to cut a 30m x 185mm three-core armored cable installed at the substation. When the security guard returned, she saw the accused They exit carrying a piece of armored cable to their car.

“Members of the public became suspicious of the vehicle that was being used by the accused. They mobilized and approached the accused who were loading the copper cable into their vehicle. The accused got into the vehicle and fled. Members of the public were able to obtain the registration number of the vehicle that was being used by the accused.

Dube said the security guard advised her superiors who later advised ZETDC loss control officials. A police report was filed as two orange saws and pliers were recovered from the scene.

“Investigations were conducted which led to the recovery of the vehicle. Shumba led the police to arrest the other accused. ZETDC jackets were recovered from Magodo’s bedroom. She added that Shumba indicated how the crime was committed. Site

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