Parks Dept staff do some crime-busting

EMPTY: Victor Nthangeni, Bruna Haipel and Jeffrey Mogale show the empty housing where a battery once was.

STAFF members at the Ekurhuleni Parks Department got themselves a little justice after a spate of thefts.

On the last weekend of 2017 (December 27 and 28), workers from the parks department were about to set off to cut grass when they found their truck wouldn’t start.

Upon further investigation, they discovered that the expensive batteries for the trucks and chippers were missing.

According to Victor Nthangeni and Jeffry Mogale from the department, they viewed the security video footage and saw a group of approximately five or six men entering the property and stealing the batteries.

“We were driving along one day not long after this, and I saw some guys who were wearing exactly the same clothes as the guys on the footage,” recalled Mogale.

“I got some back-up and we confronted them, saying we knew it was they who stole the batteries.”

The staff members took the alleged thieves to the police station, where the suspects soon told the staff and police where they took the batteries to sell.

Two of the stolen batteries were recovered, but five are still missing.

“These batteries cost thousands and these thieves only get around R200 each for them, so now Parks aren’t able to do their work and taxpayers, as usual, have to pay up. It’s terrible,” said ward councillor, alderman Bruna Haipel.

“We have reported this and insurance should pay us out soon and we’ll be back to work as soon as possible,” Mogale said.

The gate where the alleged thieves gained access has since been locked and welded shut, so hopefully there will be no further cases like this.

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David Pienaar

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