Father and son charged for radio tower break-in

Electronic equipment and wiring were ripped off the walls during the break-in at the Elsies Peak radio mast control room.

A Glencairn Heights father and son have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the break-in at the Elsies Peak radio mast control room.

Ebrahim Johnson, 57, and his son Bryan, 31, were arrested on Monday, August 16, and charged with possession of stolen property and damaged infrastructure under the Criminal Amendments Act.

Police had been alerted to suspicious activities at a Glencairn Heights house by the local neighbourhood watch, said Fish Hoek police spokesman Warrant Officer Peter Middelton.

Neighbourhood cameras had shown occupants of the house leaving early on Saturday August 14 and returning with electronic devices.

Investigating officer Detective Warrant Officer Jeremy Marten said when they had heard about the break-in at the tower they had put “two and two” together and had raided the house with the Simon’s Town police.

“We found all of the electronic devices from the control room at the house along with some other goods,” he said.

The duo appeared in the Simon’s Town Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, August 18.

Provincial police spokesman Captain FC Van Wyk said some of the goods found at the house could be linked to another break-in in Glencairn Heights on Saturday July 31. The duo were charged by Simon’s Town police for possession of stolen property and they appeared in court on those charges at the same time. They will remain in custody, and the case was postponed to Wednesday, October 6.

Ward councillor Simon Liell-Cock said the Golconda Street house in Glencairn Heights where the two men live had been “hijacked by undesirable elements” as there was no executor for the deceased owner’s estate.

The City could not act on behalf of a private owner to evict the occupants, he said.

“It is clear that the building is a source of crime and substance abuse in the community, and the issue has been escalated to the building inspector, the land-use inspector, the health inspector, the problem buildings unit, law enforcement, and the finance department,” he said.

City law enforcement spokesman Wayne Dyason said the house had been declared a problem building and the City’s problem building unit was dealing with it in terms of the Problem Building By-law 2010.

Any criminal activity linked to the property should be reported to SAPS, he said.

The control room at Elsies Peak.
Some of the damage done during the break-in.