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Cops shoot alleged copper wire thief

2022-07-22  Loide Jason

Cops shoot alleged copper wire thief

With copper prices on the rise, theft of metal is disrupting business in the communications sector as the police look to crack down on the culprits. 

One such alleged culprit now finds himself recovering from bullet wounds after encountering law enforcement during an attempt to acquire the metal.

The young man, who was allegedly on a mission to steal copper wires at the Lafrenz Industrial area on Wednesday, was shot by the police in an attempt to stop him from fleeing the scene.

The report, shared yesterday by the Khomas crime investigations coordinator, Chrispin Mubebo, said on that evening, members of the police from Katutura Police Station were patrolling in the Lafrenz Industrial Area and caught someone stealing copper wires.

 “Immediately, when the culprit wanted to flee from the scene but in process of attempting to stop him from fleeing, he was shot in his lower body,” reads the report.  

He said the suspect has been taken to the Katutura Intermediate State Hospital and is in stable condition. 

Mubebo indicated the comprehensive report will be shared later on when the suspect will appear in court.

The Windhoek City Police in March told New Era they have noticed a dramatic increase in the theft of copper wire, especially in the areas of Wanaheda and Otjomuise.

 A demand for the metal, also known as ‘poor man’s gold’, from nations, such as China, South Korea and Malaysia, has created a robust international trade, which has spawned a growing local black market for the metal. 

Copper theft has long been a major source of anxiety, particularly for the communications, construction, utilities and transportation industries, Telecom Namibia CEO Stanley Shanapinda said back then. 

“Telecom has reported a high number of incidents of criminals, targeting the company’s infrastructure. This clearly shows that criminals are causing serious damage to the Telecom Namibia networks through copper theft and sheer vandalism, resulting in downtime for customers and costing the company millions. This directly affects our quality of service and customer experience in the affected areas,” he stated. 

Copper wire theft poses a serious threat to service experiences and related economic activities, resulting in the disruption of network availability, loss in revenue, customer frustration and increased costs of replacing the lost equipment.


2022-07-22  Loide Jason

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