Scrapyard dealer nabbed in sting operation

A quest to get to the bottom of  copper and metal theft in the Northern suburbs reaped rewards on Wednesday afternoon when stolen manhole covers, taps and other copper items worth thousands of rands were recovered at the Rising Sun Scrapyard in Allandale.

The successful bust by Sector 4 policing forum, RZS Security and the Mountain Rise specialized crime unit led by D Pather, resulted in the uncovering of a number of wheelbarrows and shipping containers filled with copper pipes, cables, manhole covers and various metal and copper tangibles.

Bystanders at the scene said they have suspected that items stolen by vagrants were being sold to the scrapyard.

A Nissan bakkie, believed to belong to the  scrapyard owner, was found at the scene and has been linked to a number of the thefts.


Speaking to the Public Eye while police raided the scrap yard, Sector 4 policing forum chairperson Suneal Beharie said the scrapyard had been on the forum’s radar for a few months.

Matters came to a head earlier in the day, however, when a resident sent out a message on the group’s WhatsApp chat about the Nissan bakkie loading stolen water meters, copper cables and manhole covers and driving around the neighbourhood.

Residents rallied around keeping surveillance on the vehicle and eventually followed it to the scrapyard where group members were waiting with the police and Msunduzi Security.

“It has been a widespread search. We have been visiting scrap dealers to get to the bottom of the criminal elements involved in scrap metal dealing,” said Beharie.

Police members on the scene and security personnel said the successful raid was due to the joint efforts of the Sector 4 policing forum and police agents.

Nkosi Ngubelanga from Municipality Safety and Security said the city has been dealing with a lot of backlog due to stolen water meters and manhole covers.

“It’s an issue that has caused distress. Residents have been left without basic equipment, such as manhole covers due to petty theft,”said Ngubelanga.

The owner of the scrapyard and two other suspects were arrested on the scene.

Bongeka Sibisi

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