Woman robbed of R65 000

2012-03-24 00:00

BEWARE if you’re withdrawing large amounts of cash — for criminals have struck in Durban and Pietermaritzburg and have resorted to elaborate ploys.

In the latest incident, a Pietermaritzburg woman was abducted last week at the Midlands Mall by three men posing as police officers.

She was robbed of R65 000 and personal items including a cellphone.

Attempts to speak to the victim have been unsuccessful.

Police spokesperson Joey Jeevan said the woman had just withdrawn R40 000 from a bank when an unknown man appeared in front of her.

Jeevan said the man pretended to have found a roll of money in front of the woman, and convinced her to share that money.

As the two of them left the mall, they were confronted by three “policemen” who claimed to be investigating a case of stolen money and then ordered them into a white BMW.

The police had fake IDs.

“They ordered them into the vehicle and drove off. Near the Ashburton area, the men robbed the victim of the R40 000 she had withdrawn and another R25 000 that was in her purse.”

They dumped her on the N3 near Ashburton.

Thea Marx, general manager of Coastal Properties which includes the Midlands Mall Centre Management, said she was aware of the robbery. The matter was being investigated by police.

“The safety of our shoppers and tenants continues to be of the utmost importance and we continue to be vigilant with security and urge our shoppers to report any suspicious activities.”

The incident follows a spate of similar attacks in Durban where individuals with large amounts of cash have been targeted near banks.

The provincial SAPS believes some of these robberies are pre-planned.

Police spokesperson Jay Naicker said the victims were either robbed of cash before depositing the money or after withdrawing cash from banks.

It seemed the victim’s information and movement were being leaked to the criminals by their associates.

In the past few weeks, one victim was robbed at gunpoint of an undisclosed amount of cash in the parking lot of a bank at Sugar Close in Umhlanga Rocks.

Another victim withdrew a large sum of cash from a bank and was robbed at gunpoint while on his way to deposit the money in another bank at KwaMashu.

Naicker warned that businesses should keep their banking activities confidential, while individuals should keep their withdrawals to a minimum.

If it was absolutely necessary to make a large withdrawal, they should be accompanied by a trusted relative or friend.

Jeevan said anyone that can assist with any information can contact Detective Warrant Officer Robin Mays of SAPS Pietermaritzburg at telephone number 033 845 2750 or on his cell at 084 027 0000.

• thamsanqam@witness.co.za

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