Hands-Free Cable Theft Personal Musings 24 APR 2007

I like commuting into work via train. No traffic to sit in, no searching for parking space, a hell of a lot cheaper, fairly reliable and less wear-and-tear on my car. I’ve been doing it for a couple of years now and honestly I cant really complain about it.

The thing is, left to their own devices, Metrorail would be running a fairly decent and reliable service. The problem, as it always is, lies without outside elements. This morning the trains were horribly delayed, resulting in packed carriages and just a general unpleasant trip. The reason for the delays? Some jerks decided to line their pockets by stealing Metrorail cabling.

A major inconvenience for its customers and a massive headache for the company. These cable thieves are ruthless, targeting any thing that looks even the slightest bit valuable that they can rip out of the ground undetected. Even your prize-winning petunias might not be safe.

Which leads me nicely into the title of this mini-rant. I admire Muslim states that deal with things like theft in a very succinct manor – once found guilty they simply remove the source of the problem by parting the thiefs hand from him. Chopping the root of evil out so to speak.

Now I like this idea. It doesnt matter how poor, uneducated or illiterate you might be, the thought of losing your hand would scare anyone off stealing something. And we could scale it depending on the level of offence. For instance, stealing someones knickers or a candy bar might lose you a bit of a finger. Stealing food might leave you short a few fingers whilst, bigger items will lose you a hand. Needless to safe, repeat offenders probably wouldnt be back more than two times – its difficult to crack a safe with no hands.

Of course, using this logic, it stands to reason that the buggers behind the Fidentia and LeisureNet scandals (don’t even ask about Enron) would probably have earned the nickname of stumpy by now.

cut copper cable - theft

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.