09 April 2021

Stolen scrap metal trade alive and well

Submitted by Jacqui

The lucrative underworld of scrap metal trade is thriving and becoming an expensive problem for many businesses around Johannesburg.

Just this month a commercial site in Rustenburg was vandalised and all the stainless steel burglar bars were removed. The criminals also managed to get away with aluminium and copper piping from inside the building.

Fidelity ADT’s Maurice Malan confirmed this has been an ongoing problem around the North West, saying a lot of stolen scrap metal is sold to unsuspecting scrap yards or to unscrupulous traders trading in stolen metal. He says Fidelity were called in to assess the site in question. During the site visit the sales consultant, Juan van der Walt, approached a man known to frequent the area on the sidewalk and asked him if he knew anything about the stolen metal.

Van der Walt says after a brief cross-examination the man confirmed that he knew where the scrap metal was being sold. Both Van der Walt and the business owner visited the dealer and the owner immediately recognised his stolen burglar bars.

The scrap dealer admitted to buying the burglar bars but was able to produce a valid receipt. He had bought the stock from another dealer. When the second dealer was approached, the balance of the stolen goods were found. Again this dealer was able to produce a copy of the sales document.

Malan says both dealers agreed to return the stolen goods to their rightful owner. “We cautioned both to be more circumspect in who they buy from in future.”

The approximate cost of the replacement bars were over R20,000.

The business owner has subsequently gone to the police to open a case with the full cooperation of the secondhand dealers.

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Compiled on behalf of Fidelity ADT by Cathy Findley Public Relations, for media queries contact Jacqui Moloi on 071 764 8233