Saturday, August 08, 2009

Shopping SA style

About 20 armed men have robbed a Pick n Pay, [a] pharmacy and [a] bottle store in the space of a few minutes at a shopping centre in Alberton - bringing to five the number of such attacks in Gauteng this week.

After arriving at the Bracken City Mall on Thursday evening, the gang split up, attacking the three stores.

At 5.55pm Pick n Pay manager Dylan Fandam was in his office when about 15 armed robbers stormed into the store.

The robbers, armed with handguns, went to work on the 17 tills and cash float office. Fandam said the robbers attacked a woman, pushing her down. No shots were fired and the robbery was over in five minutes.

In that time, the gang raided all the tills, took cigarettes from the counters and fled.

At the Bracken City Liquor Market, store manager Aaron Mcgregor was at the till when his mother, Rosemary, alerted him to a suspicious-looking man talking on a cellphone. Within seconds the man was inside the shop, pointing a gun. Two other men, who were already in the shop, ordered customers to lie down and took money from the tills.

"One of the men pointed a gun to my face," said Mcgregor.

Rosemary said: "I was stiff. I could not move, I was petrified. He put a gun on my hip as he forcefully removed my ring. He then ripped off my necklace."

The robbers also hit a pharmacy in the centre.

While making their getaway, the robbers had a shoot-out with Ekurhuleni Metro police officers. An officer was wounded in the ankle. Police are searching for the gang and suspect they used four getaway vehicles.

This week's crime spree started on Monday at Killarney Mall in Joburg when a Coin Security guard was robbed of an undisclosed amount of cash. Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Julia Claassen said four armed robbers overpowered the guard at 4.55pm and robbed him of a cash box and firearm. The suspects fired shots and a woman was wounded. The suspects are still at large.

On Tuesday, a 35-year-old man was shot dead in the parking lot at a Carlswald shopping centre in New Road, Midrand. Police could not give more details.

On Wednesday morning, the managing director of Protea Coin Security's guarding division, Jaco Pretorius, was shot at the Irene Village Mall in Centurion, Pretoria.

Pretorius, a former police detective, was trying to stop three men who had robbed a Sterns jewellery store. He tried to block the escape of one of the men with his car when he was shot. He died while driving himself to hospital.

That same evening, a gang of 13 attacked a Gallo Manor Pick n Pay, taking money from the store and cellphones, jewellery and personal belongings from customers. A policeman was shot in the groin and a 65-year-old woman was pistol-whipped. Police arrived and, after a shootout, arrested 10 members of the gang.

Business Against Crime (BAC) has called on people not to panic.

Jenny Irish-Qhobosheane, the manager of the BAC's shopping centre security project, said this morning: "The excessive violence is of serious concern, especially because it was at shopping centres.

"I don't think it's the start of a trend. We normally find that around this time - July/August - we have a spike. We are trying to understand why.

"We are asking people to continue going to the malls. If you look at the number of malls, the attacks are relatively sporadic."

10 Opinion(s):

Ranger Tom said...

I thought owning guns was illegal now in SA?

If guns are banned there, how in the world did the robbers get the guns?

Doberman said...

It's all illegal. I have a post on the subject ready for tomorrow.

Ranger Tom said...

I do hope you detected the sarcasm Dobs... ;)

Black Coffee said...

This just goes to show that banning guns hurts law-abiding citizen not the criminals. It seems to me one solution to SA's crime problem, at least for near future, is to allow more armed citizens, rather than less.

FishEagle said...

Black Coffee, you talk sense.

Exzanian said...

"I don't think it's the start of a trend. We normally find that around this time - July/August - we have a spike. We are trying to understand why.
"We are asking people to continue going to the malls. If you look at the number of malls, the attacks are relatively sporadic."

Wow - Never read so much codswollop packed into so few sentences in my life!
It is scary to think we have numbskulls like this in charge. They are clueless and witless. No idea what is actually going on or what to do. On another topic, I see there are power cuts in some areas of JHB since Thursday and expected to be fixed only by Monday and the reports state, "we do not know the cause of the power failure" Oh but I do, I know very well. African incompetence!!!!!!!!

Viking said...

Well said, BC.

Islandshark said...

Well BC, you surprised me with this one. I agree with you here.

Ranger Tom said...

I'm writing an essay on the second amendment here in the states, and if Doberman will let me, I'll post it here when I'm done. I've got a little more research to do though.

Exzanian said...

Excellent comment by BC, except now it is not gonna happen in SA. Darn, some people always wake up after it's too late...