The K9 unit in Port Elizabeth arrested two people in the early hours of Wednesday morning after they were caught red-handed stealing copper.
Spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu says police were on patrol at about 4.45 am when they noticed two men fiddling with a lamp pole in Baywest Boulevard.
She says the moment the suspects noticed police, one started to walk away while the other tried hiding behind the pole, still busy removing the wires.
Police made a U-turn and stopped to search inside their backpacks.
Naidu says police found about 25 metres of copper wire, 3 trip switches, cutting implements, a knife, screwdriver and a torch.
The men, aged 24 and 26, were arrested on the spot.
They will appear in court on Thursday where they will be charged for violating the Criminal Matters Amendment Act of 2015.
Naidu says theft of copper cables is a concern as it has serious implications which ultimately impacts on service delivery.