Local businessman stumped by sofisticated burglary

2015-02-26 00:00

EXPERT burglars have flummoxed a ­local businessman with their proficiency at their craft.

Mica Badatsons in Pietermaritz Street had to close on Tuesday to allow members of the bomb squad to inspect their premises after a group of “professional” thieves entered the building and used ­explosive devices to gain access to a reinforced vault.

Thieves allegedly entered the premises from Princess Street and made their way onto the roof top to avoid the motion sensors on the floor.

They broke a window which leads into the manager’s office and destroyed the alarm panel and the server which downloads content from the surveillance cameras, taking it with them when they left.

The thieves then rigged the door of a vault with high-end explosives to gain access to valuables and cash.

When the explosion occurred, the handle of the double-reinforced vault burst through a window in the office and was found about four metres away.

Shop owner Mehmood Badat said he received a call from his security company that an alarm had gone off at the building just before 11 pm but they weren’t able to find any signs of forced entry.

According to him, the thieves used the shop’s own drills and tools to assemble their explosives.

“I saw a type of gel on the door, wires and a plasticine substance,” Badat said. “They made off with invaluable family heirlooms, [an undisclosed amount of] cash as well as other high-valued locks and tools.” The heirlooms include rare and old coins.

Badat said they have been there for 27 years and have never experienced ­anything like this. He claims that the thieves must be professional because they knew how to avoid the beams, erase camera footage and assemble explosives.

He denied speculation that it may have been an inside job. “I know my staff well and I highly doubt they know how to ­acquire or even use explosives,” Badat said. “I am shocked but I’m glad it happened after hours and nothing happened to my staff or customers.”

Colonel Jay Naicker said a case of housebreaking and theft was opened at Pietermaritzburg police station for ­investigation. No arrest has been made at this stage.

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