Armed robbers went on a Christmas crime spree in Cape Town on Wednesday, hitting six businesses in a 24-hour reign of terror.
Police were sent from pillar to post as brazen skelms targeted stores at three malls — Kenilworth Centre, Vangate Mall and N1 City.
Three businesses — a bakery in Paarden Eiland, a liquor store in Melkbosstrand and a supermarket in Athlone — were also targeted.
Authorities could not confirm whether the robberies were carried out by a syndicate, while police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said no arrests were made in any of the robberies.
“I urge the respective mall management to prioritise the safety of their patrons and increase security measures and compliance to security measures,” he said.
The mayhem began late on Tuesday, just after 11.30pm, at the Kenilworth Centre where the Galaxy & Co store was broken into, and robbers fled with an undisclosed amount of jewellery.
Confirmed robberies – one attempted – in Cape Town on Wednesday, December 21:
- At about 8.30am on Wednesday, two suspects attempted to rob the Pick n Pay store at Vangate Mall, Athlone, but were stopped in their tracks by security and police. Shots were fired, but suspects managed to escape police. Police said no injuries were reported.
- At N1 City mall, four armed men approached two Fidelity guards who were refilling the Standard Bank ATM. The thieves took two firearms from the guards and an undisclosed amount of money before fleeing the scene in a red Mazda.
- On the other side of town, at Espresso Bakery, in Section Street, Paarden Eiland, four armed robbers stormed in at 9.50am. They stole an undisclosed amount of money and fled in a white Mercedes-Benz.
- Shortly before OK Liquor Store in Koeberg Road, Melkbosstrand, opened its doors on Wednesday, robbers broke in and triggered the alarm. They filled their getaway car, a flashy silver BMW, with R50 000 worth of alcohol before fleeing. However, wakker security guards and police were hot on their trail along Duinefontein Road and opened fire, shooting out the tyres of the BMW. The robbers fled on foot, abandoning their loot.
- At Silver Stores in Gatesville, aka Klein Elite, armed robbers made off with an undisclosed amount of money. Police confirmed the incident but say a formal charge was not laid by the owner.
Images of the armed robbery at N1 City also went viral on social media. It shows two gunmen standing over a frightened security guard lying on the ground.
A female witness at the next door the adjacent store, Ralo Cosmetics, tells the reporters: “We were inside the store when we heard the robber screaming, ‘Face down!’ There were no shots fired.”
Spokesperson for Vangate Centre Management, Gouwa Waja-Stemmet, says: “Security has been substantially increased at the mall for the festive period, and there is an armed response vehicle present on site.
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