TWO suspected copper cable thieves were recently arrested after their getaway car caught fire during a high-speed chase along Harare-Nyamapanda Road.
The two were fleeing the police after stealing an armoured cable and oil from a transformer at Kawoyo Clinic in Juru.
Their luck ran out when their car developed a mechanical fault and went up in flames. The vehicle was reduced to ashes, while the pair was arrested for theft of the power utility’s property. Police arrested the pair at a time theft of Zesa Holdings property is on the increase, with the company losing thousands of dollars through vandalism and theft of power cables and other components.
Criminal Investigations Department (CID) spokesperson Detective Inspector Portia Chinho confirmed the incident and warned criminals against vandalism of essential services infrastructure.
Those arrested were Ngonidzashe Mukuza (36) and Tafadzwa Gift Sinje (28).
The two, both from Harare, are being accused of contravening the Electricity Act.
“On 13 July 2019, the duo, together with other three accomplices who are still at large, proceeded to Kowoyo Clinic with intent to steal transformer oil,” said Det Insp Chinho.
“They switched off electricity and this raised suspicion among the local residents who subsequently mobilised themselves and went to check on the transformer.
“Upon checking, they discovered that the transformer armoured cable had been cut and the oil drained. They quickly reported the matter at ZRP Juru.”
Police investigations led to the arrest of Mukuza who was observed trying to pick up the other suspects at a bus terminus.
When police tried to apprehend him, he sped off towards Harare.
Mukuza was arrested after his vehicle developed an electrical fault and caught fire. “He implicated his accomplices and led to the arrest of Tafadzwa Gift Sinje,” said Det Insp Chinho. “The motor vehicle was burnt beyond recognition as was the transformer oil. The 14-metre armoured cable was recovered.”
Det Insp Chinho said they had since launched a manhunt for the other three suspects who are still at large.
She applauded the public for working hand -in-hand with the police in safeguarding public utilities.
In May, police on separate occasions arrested 12 people for allegedly stealing and vandalising Zesa equipment in Chakari and Gwanda.