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WATCH: Cape Town bicycle shop looted by rowdy revellers

04 December, 11:32 AM

Festivities in the Cape Town CBD turned to looting, with one group causing damages of nearly R170 000 in mere minutes.

Rook Cycles in Long Street has shared CCTV footage of the looting on its Facebook page. 

The incident happened in the early hours of Monday morning, after the Adderley Street Festive Lights Switch-On ceremony on Sunday evening.

Luke Godfrey, co-founder of Rook Cycles, told News24 that he was asleep at the time, and only found out about the break-in when the looter who stole their shop phone pocket dialled him at 05:00.

"It should be locked in the shop. So between that and ADT, I got out of bed and went straight there," Godfrey said.   

He is able to monitor the shop's cameras from his phone, and when he did, his heart sank.

"I was just praying that I would see a full shop," Godfrey said.

"But when I checked it, I saw nothing."

looting, cape town cbd, rook cycles

The aftermath of Monday's looting in the Cape Town CBD. Credit: Rook Cycles.

He says virtually everything was taken from the store.

"They took all of our apparel, all our backpacks, all of the bikes that were on the floor. Even all the Red Bull!"

Rook specialises in city bicycles that range in price between R5 000 and R9 000.

Godfrey said they had more stock locked in a store room on the premises, which had remained untouched.

"When I got there at 05:10 they had retrieved a whole bunch of bikes and they were loading suspects into a van, but they took the bikes for evidence."

He said that the two shops on either side of Rook Cycles had their glass fronts broken and that more stores down the road had also been damaged.

A case of break-in and possession of stolen property was opened at Cape Town central police station.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said that a case of business break-in was reported and the matter was under investigation.

"Seven people - aged between 14 and 24 years old - were taken to the police station. Police recovered six bicycles. Suspects were detained and remain in custody until their first court appearance in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court," Rwexana said in a statement.

In another incident on Long Street, a 17-year-old boy and 15-year-old girl were arrested after they broke the front display window of a shop and stole clothing and other goods on Monday morning.

Godfrey said that shop owners were very disappointed.

"It's disheartening, obviously. Our shop is more than a shop to us; it's almost like a clubhouse… it feels like a violation of our personal space."

looting, cape town cbd, rook cycles

The aftermath of Monday's looting in the Cape Town CBD. Credit: Rook Cycles.

He said it was "shocking" that the City didn't provide sufficient security during the event.

"These events are no longer safe for family, but purely for thieves to pickpocket and vandalise."

The shop is experiencing a spate of poor luck. About a week ago, someone stole their previous shop phone and started messaging customers, asking them to deposit money into a bank account.

Fortunately, the owners were alerted to the scam quickly and alerted their customers.

"At this point, I'm just like: 'Okay what next?' We'll just roll with the punches."

The shop will be closed on Tuesday for a full stock take, Godfrey said, but should be up and running again on Wednesday. 

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