Police nab would-be hijackers at mall

2016-07-26 06:00

A local businessman was attacked at Westgate Mall last week, but investigation and a speedy response led to the arrest of four suspects.

On Tuesday 19 July at about 14:20 a business owner from Phillipi was on his way to the mall to make a bank deposit, confirms police spokesperson Sergeant Cathy Meyer.

“On his arrival, he got out of his car and was approached by two unknown men,” she says.

One demanded he hand over all his belongings but the victim refused and pushed the man away.

As he attempted to escape, the second suspect held him at gunpoint, once again demanding his belongings.

“The man then gave them his car keys and tried to get away from the suspects. The security guards of the parking area noticed something was wrong and started chasing the suspects.

“The guards caught one of the suspects. Lentegeur and Mitchell’s Plain police officers later caught the second one,” says Meyer.

An investigation led to the discovery that more than two men were involved in the crime.

“Officers got hold of one of the suspects’ cellphone numbers and sent a message saying ‘pick me up at the fire station’. Two police officers then waited inside the fire station, and shortly after a black Volkswagen Golf stopped in front for the pick-up,” says Meyer.

This was the same vehicle used in the crime and seen by an off-duty police officer who witnessed the incident.

The officer also followed the suspects in his private vehicle.

Two more suspects were arrested.

The vehicle of the complainant was not taken due to fast response from the security guards at Westgate Mall and police.

The robbers made off with the victim’s laptop bag with R50 000 in it.

The money has not been recovered yet.

The four suspects are between 23 and 28 years old and have since appeared in court on charges of armed robbery and attempted hijacking.

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