ADDIS ABABA – Nine suspects were caught, red-handed, while trying to steal an electric cable installed to transmit power to the Addis Ababa light railway.
In a statement Wednesday, Addis Ababa Police said six suspects were caught in action in Woreda 9 of Akaki Kality sub-city by the patrolling officers. Three were able to initially escape from the scene in a car they were using to transport the wire.
However, they were captured three days later after a search operation involving the public along with the car described as a Vitz Toyota, plate number 3:8167A.A.
Police have continued their investigation into the case following the arrest.
Authorities say the suspects, who were working in a group , previously stole 100 meter long copper cable from the electric power transmission line, causing damage worth at least 161,000 birr.
The damage on the power line also forced the Addis Ababa light electric railway to temporarily stop providing service to its customers.
Apart from the latest arrest, police have also managed to seize an unspecified amount of cable stolen from power transmission infrastructures owned by Ethiopian Electric Utility and Ethio telecom.
The cables were stored in a rented private house located in Gullele sub city. The suspect is currently in police custody.
The police urged the public to be vigilant in protecting infrastructure and continue their support in efforts to prevent such incidents from happening.
Stealing such infrastructure or damaging to power transmission or distribution facilities is punishable with rigorous imprisonment of up to 15 years and a fine, as per Ethiopia’s law.