Thieves target elderly man in scam
Johannesburg - An elderly man was robbed of R8 000 at Lenasia Mall in Gauteng on Wednesday after he was tricked into getting into a car with the thieves.
Police spokesman Kay Makhubele said the culprits placed a packet of money on the ground, which was picked up by the 66-year-old man who thought someone had dropped it.
A few moments later, a green car pulled up alongside him and the occupants accused him of stealing their money and demanded he get in the car so the matter could be resolved at the police station.
The old man obliged but was taken to a nearby field where he was robbed of the R4 000 he had just drawn from the bank along with his bank card and pin number.
Within minutes, his bank account was being emptied of a further R4 000.
Makhubele said the incident was the third in recent weeks and police now suspected a gang was operating in malls where the elderly drew their pensions or money for their grandchildren's school fees.
In an earlier incident, a 68-year-old woman was robbed in Jabulani Mall in Soweto and a 60-year-old man in Dobsonville Mall.
Each time the victim had bent down to pick up a packet of money lying on the ground in front of them.
"Our message to the public is that if you see a suspicious packet of money on the ground, leave it," said Makhubele. If someone picked it up he warned them not to get into a car with strange people but to scream and shout to draw attention to themselves.
"This way community members can be alerted to what is happening. If they want you to go to the police demand that the police be called to the scene," he said.
Police in Soweto and Lenasia believe the same gang is responsible for all three robberies and are hunting men in a green car.