Security not up to standard at some malls, says police commissioner

2014-09-09 15:48

The recent mall robberies in Gauteng have mainly targeted shops that stock technical gadgets, such as mobile phones, and were “easy” to pull off.

“[In] 95% of robberies so far, cellphones are the target. Cash is minimal,” Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant-General Lesetja Mothiba said today.

“In two incidents cash was [stolen]. Both incidents occurred in Soweto – one at Maponya mall and another at the Black Chain shopping centre in Diepkloof.”

He said ways of rendering stolen mobile phones useless should be investigated.

Security measures at some malls were not up to standard.

“As things stand, these criminals committed these crimes very easily.”

Mall security was a joint approach between the police and mall management.

“We would want to see mall security taking that seriously,” he said.

“We have set up meetings with mall management to beef up security ... as well as looking at their security systems at the premises.”

Mothiba said the CCTV footage at some of the malls was of poor quality, and in some instances cameras were not switched on.

A reward of R200 000 has been offered for information leading to the arrest and successful prosecution of the criminals.

Five people possibly linked to the robberies were arrested in Brixton and Doornfontein today for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

“During the arrest police confiscated a 9mm pistol and three semiautomatic rifles as well as 97 live rounds of ammunition,” Mothiba said.

Mothiba said police were investigating whether they were linked to two mall robberies including the one in Diepkloof, Soweto, on Saturday.

Police would also investigate their links to ATM bombings, taxi violence and business robbery.

Eleven mall robberies have taken place since August 13.

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