Stores tighten security after Hyde Park robbery

Four armed men robbed the Vodacom shop and fired at least two shots during their escape.

FILE: Hyde Park corner Vodacom store. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - While police search for the gang behind a brazen heist at the Hyde Park shopping centre, stores in the mall are increasing their own security.

Four armed men held up staff at the Vodacom shop yesterday afternoon and managed to escape with stolen goods worth an estimated value of R1.5 million.

At least two shots were fired but no one was injured.

Staff at the mall described the scenes as frightening as they dove for cover during the incident.

They say the attack shows that no place in South Africa is safer than the other.

Wendy Qalomba from the Walton's store says they've already called a security company to increase security at the store.

"I don't think the guys are going to come back, but we're trying to see what we can do. We have six doors that we have to close before everybody is safe."

The police have appealed to anyone with any information that could lead to arrests to come forward.

EYEWITNESSES AT THE SCENE

Talk Radio 702's Jenny Crwys-Williams said she was having lunch when she heard the gunshots.

"We'd just ordered our food, I'd put one mouthful of feta cheese in my mouth and, lo and behold, we heard what we thought were gunshots and then we heard screams, followed by more gunshots and I didn't wait a second longer than that. We saw people rushing out of the Vodacom shop."

She said the security guards on duty were quick to respond but the robbers who managed to escape with stolen goods were quicker.

Another eyewitness described the moment she saw the robbers make their way through the store.

"We heard screaming coming from the Clicks side of the mall and we literally saw people running towards us and screaming 'robbery' and shouting for their lives."

Meanwhile, waiters from the nearby restaurant are being questioned after they apparently ran after the gunmen.

#sapsGP Armed Robbery at #Vodacom Hyde Park shopping centre today 14:30 shots fired, no injuries. Info 0860010111 SD pic.twitter.com/LtqtoV62Vx

ER24 attended to a robbery in a mall in Hyde Park. One patient treated and transported to hospital. (RM)