Laptop thieves arrested in intelligence driven operation called Project Blackberry

In an intelligence driven operation this weekend, dubbed Project Blackberry, two men were arrested in connection with cases of theft of laptops.

In the first breakthrough, a 25 year old man was arrested in Lyttleton after he was found in possession of four suspected stolen laptops. These laptops were reported stolen in Brooklyn and Sandton in July and August 2014 respectively.

The arrest of the first suspect led the SAPS Intelligence team to Sasolburg where they arrested a 31 year old man. This second suspect was found in possession of twenty five (25) laptops. At least one of these laptops has been reported stolen in Benoni in June this year and two were reported stolen in Lydenburg earlier this month. Further investigations will be conducted to determine the origin of the remaining notebooks.

Theft of laptops is a growing concern. Recently, in three separate incidents, the SAPS Interpol and Hawks offices, both of which are situated in the same building, have been broken into. Entry was gained into these offices after external windows were forced open and in both incidents laptops were stolen. While we believe that the same people were involved in both these incidents, we have ruled out the involvement of a syndicate. It is becoming increasingly clear that these items are being stolen purely for self-enrichment and not for the purpose of seeking or extracting sensitive information from IT equipment.

The two suspects arrested this weekend will appear in the Lyttleton and Sasolburg courts on charges of possession of suspected stolen property.

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