They were shooting like cowboys - mall robbery witness

2015-08-24 12:30

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Johannesburg - An eyewitness has recounted seeing a group of heavily armed robbers fleeing Centurion Mall on Sunday, where they had just stolen R300 000 worth of cellphones.

It was the second mall robbery in the area that day, committed an hour after the first. 

Gary Makschinsky arrived at the mall with his family, including twin children, at around 10:15 to do a bit of shopping - unaware that the robbery was taking place.

"We walked into that and they fired gunshots," a traumatised Makschinsky told News24.

"There were four or five in all, heavily armed, carrying an AK-47 or R4 rifle. The rest were armed with 9mms. The mall was busy with young people, old people and people pushing prams on a Sunday morning."

He said the robbers fled the mall in a Ford Focus, and were "shooting like cowboys" while doing so. 

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Hero Gumbu told the Rekord East there were four men, heavily armed. One was carrying an R5 rifle and three 9mm pistols.

"The one with the rifle was guarding the mall entrance near the Vodashop. One of them entered the shop and ordered the staff to load cellphones in a bag. As they left, they noticed someone was taking pictures of them and that is when shots were fired," he told the newspaper.

Gumbu said no-one was injured and the men fled with cellphones valued at around R300 000.

The first robbery occurred at the Mall@Reds in Centurion around 09:00, where the Edgars store was robbed by five armed men. 

Police spokesperson Captain Bonginkosi Msimango told the same newspaper a case of business robbery was being investigated.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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