SAPS to increase visibility at shopping malls

Four robberies have been reported at malls across the country in less than 48 hours.

Police arrested six men who allegedly robbed a Vodacom shop at Centurion Mall on Friday. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng police say they will continue to increase visibility and security at malls which have fallen victim to a spate of armed robberies within the past three months.

Four robberies have been reported at malls across the country in less than 48 hours.

Police arrested six men who allegedly robbed a Vodacom shop at Centurion Mall on Friday and just a few hours later arrested one suspect who was allegedly part of a gang targeting a Telkom store at the Irene Village Mall also in Centurion.

Two of the men were wounded when police opened fire outside the building.

The police's Noxolo Kweza says they are still searching for three suspects who fled the scene.

"We are monitoring all the malls, not necessarily these two, but all of them. We are concerned about any crime that is terrifying our communities."

In Cape Town another Vodacom shop at the Bayside Mall was robbed on Thursday while a gang targeted a store at Canal Walk the night before.

Business Against Crime South Africa (Bacsa)'s Simi Pillay-van Graan has advised business owners to teach staff how to react in such incidents.

"The main thing is to communicate with SAPS so anything unfamiliar or suspicious needs to be communicated. You cannot expect the SAPS to take responsibility for what happened."

"Things are out of control, so we've got to take a more realistic and intelligent approach in the manner in which we address these crimes."

Meanwhile, police say their investigations have revealed that the electronic devices stolen in these robberies are being taken to Nigeria and activated there.