Vangate Mall once again became the target for criminals when a cellphone shop was robbed again.
The mall has been robbed three times since September 2016 with the two most recent incidents having taken place on Monday May 15 2017 and Thursday January 25.
Athlone police spokeswoman Sergeant Zita Norman said a man had entered the shop with a gun and ordered staff into the back room where about 100 cellphones were loaded into three bags.
“While the staff were at the back, three more guys entered and helped the first guy. As they exited the store, they also took five personal phones. They left the store in a white Avanza with no registration plates,” she said.
Vangate Mall marketing manager Gouwa Waja said management had urged customers to be vigilant at all times.
“Customers are encouraged to immediately alert the nearest security in the shopping centre or report any suspicious behaviour to the Vangate Mall security office on 021 633 1065.”
Asked if mall management had a plan to prevent this from happening again Ms Waja said: “Vangate Mall works closely with SAPS and crime intelligence members to create a safe shopping environment for our community. We reassure customers that preventative security measures are in place to ensure that the mall operates at an optimal safe level. We constantly strive to maintain a safe shopping environment for your convenience.”
She added that while she could not disclose details of the security plan, Vangate Mall had a security structure in place to protect the community, customers, tenants and staff in the shopping centre.
“We are not in a position to disclose this information to the public as this could place the shopping centre at risk. Vangate Mall management will be in discussion with the MTN management to discuss their security measures specifically for their store.”
Sergeant Norman reiterated that it was not the police’s duty to patrol the mall but that mall management should arrange security for both inside and outside the mall.