Rusape men strip Econet booster of 16 solar batteries and diesel

A Tesla Powerwall battery at an Econet site in Harare. Photographer: Cynthia R Matonhodze

THREE Rusape men have been arrested for allegedly stealing 16 solar batteries and 360 litres of diesel from an Econet Wireless booster.

Trymore Robson (19), Nesbert Mafema (28) and David Sidhuma (51), who were employed as general hands at Patels Industrial Plot in Rusape, are also accused of stealing 40 X 3,8 metres of standard poles and fence from Coca-Cola company in the same town.

Criminal Investigations Department (CID) spokesperson Detective Inspector Portia Chinho confirmed the arrest yesterday.

“The three suspects approached the Econet booster station at Patels Industrial Plot during the night,” she said.

“They used an unknown object to break the burglar bars securing the booster and gained entry.

“Whilst inside, they stole 8×2 volts back-up solar batteries, which were mounted at the station. They also drained 360 litres of diesel and went away unnoticed.

“A week later, the trio went to the same booster again where they stole eight 12 volts Shoto back-up batteries which had been mounted by Econet officials and also drained 360 litres of diesel before disappearing.

“On 4 April, 2020, the three again proceeded to Coca-Cola Bottling Company complex situated at Patel’s Industrial Plot in Rusape during the night and cut 40×3.8 metres standard poles and went away unnoticed.”

Detectives recently received information that Trymore Robson was in possession of security fence believed to have been stolen, leading to his arrest.

“The detectives arrested him at his place of residence and recovered two bundles of second hand security fence and four 3.8metres standard poles,” said Det Insp Chinho.

“The suspect implicated his accomplices who were also arrested and led to the recovery of 12x3metres of security fence and 5×3.8metres standard iron poles.”

The stolen batteries, diesel, fence and fencing poles are worth $40 200 and property worth $24 000 was recovered.

Det Insp Chinho applauded members of the public for supporting the police by providing tips and information on criminal activities in the communities.

“Criminals are being warned against vandalism and theft of essential service utilities,” she said. “They should desist from all heinous activities because we will not stop arresting.”

Members of the public with information that might assist police can contact the ZRP national complaints desk on (0242) 703631, WhatsApp number 0712 800 197 or any nearest police station.