Two firms robbed on the same day

2014-04-30 00:00

SOME Florida Road business owners want more police operating in Berea to deter violent criminals from targeting them.

On Monday, after midnight, a gang of about eight men broke into a computer company, Keyline Graphics, in Florida Road and stole computers worth about R40 000, and later Morningside restaurant Marco’s was robbed at gunpoint.

Keyline owner Irfaan Badrudin, who lives in Florida Road, said increased police visibility, together with the work being done by security companies, was what was needed in the area.

“The gang drove through the electric gate and cut the alarm cables before forcing the door open. We are stuck now, we can’t process invoices and we are trying to recover information. This sets us back as a business. Our security company told us the gang was driving a white Mercedes,” said Badrudin.

At Marco’s, an undisclosed amount of money was stolen from a safe after two gunmen accosted a 29-year-old employee who had been opening the restaurant just before 10 am. They pushed him inside, forced him to open the safe and stole the money, fleeing on foot. The restaurant declined to comment.

In January, The Witness reported that Florida Road restaurant Taco Zulu was robbed and the burglars even stole the CCTV camera footage.

At the time, the police said the restaurant employees were accosted by three armed men and robbed of an undisclosed amount of cash, cellphones and the camera footage at around 9 am. No shots were fired and the restaurant did not want to comment at the time. Yesterday, owner Zane da Silva said business robberies in the area were a concern.

“We need more police visibility in the area,” said Da Silva.

Last year, another computer business, IComputer Solutions, was broken into three times. Co-owner Seni Padayachee said they were concerned by the brazen attitude of the criminals.

Florida Road Urban Improvement Programme (UIP) manager Gray Braatvedt said it was a coincidence that the businesses were robbed on the same morning.

“Our patrol vehicle spotted the Mercedes Benz and became suspicious, but when our men drove back, the occupants were already inside and the car drove off. Our vehicle could not catch up with a high-powered Mercedes,” he said.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker confirmed both incidents.

“The gunmen pushed the complainant inside the business premises and forced him to open the safe. The men stole an undisclosed amount of cash before locking the complainant in the office, and fled on foot,” said Naicker.

He said in Florida Road the door of the computer store was forced open and computers were stolen.

No arrests have been made.

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