Mall robberies: Cops crack syndicate

Police are confident a gang arrested in connection with two mall robberies are linked to similar incidents.

Gauteng Police Commissioner Lesetja Mothiba  at a media conference addressing the recent spate of mall robberies in Gauteng. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng police are confident the gang arrested in connection with a spate of mall robberies in the province could be linked to other similar attacks.

Four men were arrested in Brixton and Doornfontein on Tuesday.

They have been linked to two of the 11 mall robberies in Gauteng over the last month.

Police say the early increase in mall robberies over the last month has taken the South African Police Service (SAPS) by surprise,

But they believe the gang arrested on Tuesday is key to stopping these crimes.

In most of the robberies cellphone shops were targeted and police have now identified at least 12 shopping malls as high-risk zones.

Gauteng Police Commissioner Lesetja Mothiba says officers will be conducting security inspections and armoured vehicles and police nyalas will be patrolling.

"A scourge now is serious cause for concern. In terms of the syndicates, the arrests that we make are part of an ongoing investigation."

Police say in some cases CCTV cameras at shopping centres don't work and they will be meeting with mall managers to address these issues.

Meanwhile, more arrests are expected.