Staff foil thieves’ plans

2017-10-27 13:45
Managing director of a Mica Hardware branch, Charles Kirton, shows the area where two shoplifters put stolen items in a bag.

Managing director of a Mica Hardware branch, Charles Kirton, shows the area where two shoplifters put stolen items in a bag. (Kerushun Pillay)

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Employees at a hardware store turned heroes when they apprehended two alleged shoplifters on Tuesday.

Two men were apprehended by staff at Mica Hardware in Hayfields, when they allegedly tried to shoplift power tools for the second time in a few hours.

In the first incident, which occurred around midday, the two men made off with about R2 500 in drills and angle grinders.

Video footage of that incident was posted on Facebook by the store’s managing director, Charles Kirton. It has since been shared nearly 400 times.

The two men returned later that afternoon and tried to make off with one power tool, but were caught by staff as they attempted to leave the store.

Kirton told The Witness on Thursday that the two men allegedly managed to shoplift the items in the first incident, in no more than three minutes.

“From the power tool section, they walked to the paint section where they were hiding behind paint cans.

“One of them pulled out a bag that was hidden in their jacket. They put the tools in the bag and then went through the back door.”

Kirton said once he realised the stock was taken, he went to various second hand stores to see whether the men had sold the tools.

“I gave them pictures of the guys [from the security footage] and told them not to buy their stolen stuff.

“I then went to open a case, and while at Alexandra Road police station, I got a call from my store manager who said they had come back.”

He said staff, who were all shown the video footage, had recognised the men.

“So they grabbed them and the security outside helped to apprehend them.”

Kirton said he had shared the footage on social media to create an awareness about crime in the area.

“We may have lost stock, but everyone needs to be aware. Hopefully it won’t happen to anyone else.”

He said the store rarely experienced theft of this kind. “We have a good camera system and our staff are jacked up.”

Police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese confirmed the incident, and said the two men will be charged with shoplifting.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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