Thives stole 15 Solar panels in Kidia
|On our main transmitter side up in the rain forest the Lutheran Radio
centre suffered the biggest loss since the station is running:
In two robbery attacks 15 solar panels SIEMENS M55 had been stolen.
Mid July they ranged the first attack: They clipped off the wires from the electric fence, climbed up the wall around the antenna mast, climbed up the mast up o the solar panels. At that time they managed to pry off the 4 panels, closest to the antenna mast. Teny they tried to lower the solar wing. When they reached the last screw the one beam remaining could not stand the load an bent, but leaving the panels still out of reach.
Watchmen got employed by the studio to guard the tower around the clock, and the studio staff tried to balance the remaining solar panels. On Friday, 3rd of September we winched up the defective wing after replacing the defective beam. The watchmen got help to build their shelter in the forest near the transmitter side.
Early on Sunday morning September 5th every one heard just a big hiss when tuning the station. The studio staff tried to phone the watchmen to ask what happened at the transmitter side. But no one had a telephone number. Since they did not receive any news from the watchmen as well, it was decided to drive up in the rain forest on Mondey morning.
When the technician arrived at the side with the driver he found no watch men, but another 11 solar panels removed from the solar wings. This time the thieves came really professionally equipped even with a good drilling machine to undo the pop rivets. The connecting wires were still laying in the grass under the wings.
While lowering the solar plates the thieves demaged the receiving antenna which made the reception of the feeding signal impossible.
The director reported the case to the police the very same afternoon, and the listeners gor asked in the evening news program to keep their eyes open for any signs of the solar panels.
Now the transmitter suffers chronically on lack of electricity. Already the battery banks are weak and need to get replaced soon.