Brass and Copper theft a growing problem

Brass and copper theft, primarily stolen for scrap metal, is an expensive problem for many businesses and residents around Johannesburg.


A recent incident on Dover street in Ferndale has prompted Fidelity ADT to issue a warning to businesses and residents. On 30 November at approximately 22:41, Fidelity ADT responded to an alarm activation. On arrival Reaction Officers Motsega and Mashudu found a suspect who was attempting to steel copper pipes. When he saw the officers he tried to flee but was apprehended and handed over to Sargent Kgatle from Randburg SAPS.


Upon investigation, it was found that he entered the property by jumping over the palisade fence and activating the beams. The suspect managed to cut approximately 16 air conditioner pipes.


Although this incident happened in Ferndale, it is a problem across several areas in Gauteng.  Particularly hard hit areas include Benoni, Boksburg and Kempton Park.  Local security companies and the local CPF are appealing to all residents to keep a look out for the perpetrators of these crimes.


Charnel Hattingh, Head of Marketing & Communications for Fidelity ADT says, “We have also seen a growing trend of criminals stealing copper or brass house numbers for the same reason. Opportunistic criminals are seeing these as easy pickings.

Having a clearly visible home number outside your house is very important in an emergency so that responders can find you as quickly as possible.”


She offers the following tips:


  • Consider painting your house numbers on your wall or on your pavement
  • Buy durable stick on plastic numbers
  • Do not buy brass or copper numbers from someone on the side of the road as it is very likely that these have been stolen


“This kind of theft has to be reported. We do not recommend residents intervene in anyway as suspects could be dangerous,  but rather report any suspicious behaviour to their local SAPS department.”