Neighbourhood News

Armed copper thief flees Newlands West

A private security officer has been praised for his quick response which ensured a Newlands West resident was unharmed.

The Fidelity ADT Monitoring Centre received a call from a distressed Loop West Drive resident after she spotted a suspect in her property trying to steel copper pipes. “Copper pipe theft is a trend that we have seen throughout Durban and we regularly receive reports of such incidents. The damages and loss from copper theft is immense and places unnecessary pressure on our municipalities, ultimately leading to our communities suffering as a result,” says Fidelity ADT’s District Manager for KwaZulu-Natal, Vaughan Pillay.

Armed Response Officer (ARO), Kevin Govender, was immediately dispatched, arrived at the property within minutes and spotted the suspect attempting to remove the copper pipes. As soon as the suspect saw ARO Govender he immediately fled on foot towards an abandoned nearby ground and fired shots towards the officer whilst running away. Officer Govender did not return fire as he had no clear visibility of the suspect. Fortunately no one was injured and the resident, although shaken, was unharmed.  

“Our officers are well trained and equipped to deal with any kind of emergency situation as was the case in this particular incident. The fact that the suspect was armed and willing to fire at the officer is very concerning. Community members are reminded to never attempt to intervene or confront suspects as they may be armed and dangerous – rather call the SAPS or your private security provider straight away for assistance,” said Pillay.

Although the suspect escaped, the copper pipe theft was prevented and most importantly, the officer and resident were unharmed. “I would like to commend ARO Govender for his swift response and bravery. I encourage the community to take the necessary safety precautions by installing outdoor detection devices and electric fencing which can assist in activating the alarm system before an opportunistic criminal can get to your home. This serves as an early warning and is often enough to scare them away before they can cause any harm or damage,” concluded Pillay.

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