Mall shops robbed through the roof

2012-12-19 10:01
Liberty Midlands Mall (Supplied)

Liberty Midlands Mall (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - Five food shops at Liberty Midlands Mall opened on Tuesday to find their cash and goods had disappeared through the roof - again.

Mall marketing manager Minoli Chetty confirmed that several tenants in the centre had been burgled during what appeared to be a forced entry into their stores.

Initial investigations indicated that entry was gained via the ceiling before the stores opened for business.

Chetty said police examined the scene and that the mall’s security was reviewing security camera footage. The management was helping in the investigation.

Chetty requested that shoppers report any suspicious activity at the mall to security or centre management.

“The safety and security of tenants and shoppers are of utmost importance to the mall. Additional security measures are being implemented with immediate effect,” she said.

'Ridiculous'

Althea Coslett, owner of Mozart Ice Cream, was told by one of her casual staff, Mandla Dlamini, about the break-in when he opened the store at 07:50. She found the shop in a mess with a broken safe.

Coslett said that an estimated R30 000 was taken from her store.

“This is ridiculous. The same thing happened just six months ago. It’s somebody who knows the place well. I’m not insured for burglary, expecting the mall would have top security.

“If this happened before, they should have jacked up security. There goes my Christmas,” said a disappointed Coslett.

Biltong Boys was also broken into, said Cameron Day, the area manager.

“It raises questions whether they [the mall security] are doing their job. It’s a letdown.”

Police could not be reached for comment.

A similar incident happened at the mall in June when burglars gained entry through the roof.

At the time police said burglars broke into five shops.

“They removed the ceiling boards to the shops and stole a large, undisclosed amount of cash, 150 cellular phones, clothing and keys,” said police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane at the time.

The ceiling of one of the shops was damaged, but nothing was taken from the premises.

A police source said the suspects did not go inside the mall, but moved through the roof from shop to shop.

He said at least one of the five shops had an alarm system.

No arrests have been made.

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