Parent warns of ‘inappropriate’ behaviour of undercover man at mall

2010-03-30 00:00

SUSPICION is swirling through Pietermaritzburg after a resident sent out a mass e-mail warning parents about a man lurking about at Pick n Pay in the Liberty Midlands Mall.

Greg Groenewald said the man has shown conspicuous interest in young children.

It has been verified that this man is, in fact, an undercover security guard working for Pick n Pay, but Groenewald said his behaviour is still unacceptable.

In the e-mail, Groenewald wrote: “I would like to warn parents who are taking their children shopping to be extra vigilant … of a man who has, on two separate occasions, showed undue attention to my child of three-and-a-half.

“His modus operandi is basically to hang around shopping aisles with a trolley that has a token amount of groceries … but not doing any actual shopping. He spends time watching mothers who are shopping with their little ones and then offers the child sweets while the parent’s back is turned.

“On both occasions he was wearing a floppy hat that covers his face. Why wear a floppy hat in this way if his intentions are okay? He is well-spoken.”

The e-mail circulated yesterday morning.

In response, Pick n Pay regional general manager Wim Theron said: “We would like to assure all our customers that the man in question — who, incidentally, is an undercover security agent contracted to Pick n Pay — was immediately removed from the store and we are launching a thorough investigation into this matter.

“Pick n Pay views all allegations such as these with the utmost seriousness, and we would like to encourage customers who notice inappropriate behaviour in any of our stores to immediately report this to the store manager, or lay a charge at the nearest police station.”

Mall manager Cassy Fourie said the incident — which was not reported to it or the police — is being investigated with Pick n Pay management. “We urge all our shoppers to report any suspicious activities to centre management immediately on (033) 341 9570 or security on (033) 341 9576.”

Police Inspector Joey Jeevan said: “If any of the allegations are found to be true, further investigation will take place.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.