Teamwork between officers from a private security company and the George South African Police Service led to the arrest of three would-be copper thieves late on Monday, 05 August 2013.
At around 23h30, ADT Security Armed Response Officer (ARO) Theys Braaff was dispatched to an alarm activation at a local business in Hibernia Street. Upon arrival, he noticed that the glass of the front door was broken and immediately called for back-up; within minutes ARO Neil Samuels was at the scene.
As they made their way to the rear of the building the officers heard strange noises, spotted three men running on the roof and radioed the Monitoring Centre to dispatch the police.
Samuels climbed onto the roof where he managed to apprehend one suspect and within minutes the police arrived and arrested the others.
“During their inspection, officers Braaff and Samuels found a bag filled with copper pipes and taps at the back of the premises; and while he was on the roof, Samuels noticed that the suspects had removed the compressor from an air-conditioning unit,” said Arno Hattingh, Branch Manager of ADT Security Garden Route.
He had some advice for business owners to consider to enhance security at their premises:
– Install an alarm system coupled to an armed response company and get to know the officers who patrol your area.
– Keep your business well-lit inside and out and also keep trees and bushes trimmed back so that they don’t obscure outdoor lights.
– Leave the till drawers open when the shop is closed and overnight.
– Install safety glass; it’s highly effective at deterring break-ins.
– Consider or discuss with the landlord what can be done to enclose exposed copper piping, and where it is possible, remove tap handles or other copper items overnight and when not in use.