Shopping mall robberies increase

2017-06-27 06:01

SHOP owners and staff have been urged to be on high alert following a spate of burglaries in shopping malls in recent weeks where criminals have smashed their way through the front doors of several stores.

SA Community Crime Watch (SACCW) Steven King said the NPO had recorded many business burglaries - 25 in the past few months - at shopping malls that have been reported to neighbourhood watch networks and police, and the number is increasing.

The most recent incident in the Hillcrest area occurred last week.

“A gang of three had entered a shopping mall in Old Main Road and reportedly used a hammer to smash open the door of a jewellery shop.

“The gang fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of jewellery in a white Toyota Corolla with no registration plates,” he said.

Hillcrest SAPS attended the scene and are investigating. SACCW advises stores, management, staff and customers to be vigilant and King said businesses need to be protected by alarm systems that are correctly activated.

“People need to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity when opening and closing their shops. Also add CCTV surveillance cameras to ensure that those entering and leaving the stores are monitored.”

He also said a panic button is an effective way to stay protected.
“SA Cares, a division of SACCW has also activated a mobile panic button to ensure our community is safe.”

King described the panic button as an app that is a virtual guardian in case of emergency and which works on various operating systems [Android, Iphone, Windows Mobile, Firefox,and Blackberry 10].

“It makes use of GPS, WiFi and LBS tracking and is a small, simple and user friendly app to install and operate,” said King.
The button also has a non-smartphone speed dial function with LBS technology. To register for the panic button visit  http://saccw.org/register/ or contact King on 082 920 5799 for more information.

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