South Africa News

Armed robbers get away with R486 000 after robbing man at Kenilworth Centre

Business owners have been cautioned to seek security escort when depositing large sums of money at banks, after a man was robbed of nearly half a million rand at the entrance of Kenilworth Centre on Monday.

According to police, a 47-year-old man carrying a black backpack filled with cash was walking with his employer, when two armed suspects approached them at the mall’s entrance, and threatened them with guns to the head.

The suspects managed to make a getaway with R486 000 in cash, and the victim’s firearm. To conceal their identities, the suspects wore masks.

Hours after the incident at 8.30am, CCTV footage of the robbery emerged on social media. At the start of the 33-second clip, a man wearing a security uniform enters through the automatic doors.

Behind him is the employee carrying the backpack, talking to his employer walking next to him when suddenly, they both attempt to run into the mall.

But the man carrying the backpack is stopped by a gun-toting suspect, who lunges for the backpack.

Another masked suspect then emerges, pats down the victim and takes his firearm.

In a matter of seconds, the suspects managed to make a getaway in a silver Toyota Etios, when the victim then took out his cell phone and dialled for help.

Spokesperson for Kenilworth Centre, Gouwa Waja, confirmed the armed robbery took place in the parking area.

“The incident involved at least two perpetrators who fled with an undisclosed sum of cash. No tenants or customers sustained any injuries during the incident.

“The mall’s security team acted swiftly, immediately contacted SAPS and we are cooperating fully with the officers in their investigation efforts.”

When the Cape Argus visited the mall on Tuesday, it was business as usual.

“We want to reassure all visitors that the centre remains secure, and business operations are continuing as usual,” Waja said.

“Any questions or concerns regarding this matter should be directed to the SAPS. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.”

Police spokesperson, FC van Wyk, said Claremont detectives were investigating.

“Claremont police are investigating an armed robbery case following an incident on Monday at a shopping mall in Doncaster Road, Kenilworth, Claremont.

“According to the complainant, a 47-year-old male, he was walking towards the entrance of the mall with his employer.

“As they were busy talking he saw two unknown males, the suspects, walking towards his employer and pointing a firearm to his head.

“He was carrying a bag with an undisclosed amount of cash which they were about to deposit at the bank. The suspect then took the bag and ran away with the contents.

“The motive was robbery. No shots were fired. The suspects were wearing caps and face masks. The suspects then fled the scene in a vehicle.”

Fidelity Services Group head of communications and marketing, Charnel Hattingh, advised small businesses to take precautions when dealing with money.

“The small business sector is a major job creator in South Africa and contributes an estimated R1.5 trillion to the GDP.

“Keeping them secure and safe from crime is therefore an obvious priority, but small ‘mom and pop’ shops can often not afford the same kind of sophisticated security systems that bigger companies can afford.

“There is, however, still a lot that can be done to protect these small and medium enterprises from crime and criminals.

“Businesses are encouraged to scrutinise their security, from the perimeter inwards – or, better still, have a risk evaluation done by a reputable security company.

“Support from a guarding or armed response service provider is a good extra layer of protection for staff who are undertaking this daily.

“When criminals strike, do not resist and assure the assailants that you will cooperate.

“They must see that you will not take any action that will jeopardise your safety and that you are not planning any quick or unexpected movements, do not argue with them, as they are in control.

“If they instruct you to take something out of your pockets such as a wallet or phone, tell them what you are doing and why you are doing it.

“Trauma counselling is something that should be considered after an armed robbery.

“It is very scary to be the victim of an incident where you are faced with a suspect carrying a gun or another dangerous weapon. We recommend talking to someone about what happened, to help deal with the trauma of what you experienced,” Hattingh said.

-Cape Argus

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