From the news desk

Canal Walk to beef up security

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After another robbery at the mall on Saturday, Canal Walk’s management says it will put stringent security measures in place and have been engaging with security and police to beef up visibility. Harris Jewellers was a victim of aggravated robbery at 19:19pm on Saturday. With the I-store targeted on Wednesday, Harris was the second attack in the shopping mall in just one week. The three burglars were unsuspectingly “well dressed”, says owner of Harris Jewellers, Bubi Harris.

While posing as one of the customers, one of the perpetrators asked for assistance.

“Three gentlemen entered the shop and the one asked for a diamond ring. He was looking at the biggest diamond ring,” recalled Harris.

In an eager attempt to serve the ‘customer’, the staff member went to the back of the store where the stock was stored. Unaware that he was being followed by the burglars, he opened the safe. The staff was later attacked and the burglar removed all the content in the safe.

“The staff members were shoved by the burglars and the robber just managed to get hold of the key and removed all the content while the other staff members were shoved into the back workshop area,” says Harris.

Cabinets were smashed and the content in them removed. A total of 74 diamond rings and three showcases were cleared amounting to R2 million. The burglars acted quickly ensuring the security could not be alerted by removing the panic button.

“It took 10 minutes and staff could not press the panic button for security as it was taken away from them. By the time they could and security came the robbers were gone,” says Harris.

Canal Walk has taken measures to ensure a safer environment for staff and shoppers.

“The use of cutting-edge technology with highly visible policing and rapid emergency response has proved successful in curbing crime in Century City and also apprehending suspects of crime when committed,” says Canal Walk marketing manager Vaneesa Herbst.

Currently, the mall’s management have engaged in urgent consultation with SAPS, the Western Cape Department of Community Safety, security consultants, Business Against Crime and retailers to address this concerning trend. The centre’s management believes that the issue can be resolved with the collaboration of police and security with a strong approach to tackle the crime.

“The recent increase in robberies at Canal Walk requires a clear strategy from the South African Police Service in cooperation with the centre’s security company,” says Herbst.

The shopping mall has taken measures by enforcing stringent regulation of the property and monitoring of its visitors.

“We are taking immediate steps by not only increasing security presence and conducting random hand-held metal detector checks at entrances but making customers aware of their surroundings,” says Herbst.

“We need to make sure our customers are aware of what is being done to clamp down on these types of criminal behaviour.” VOC (Nailah Cornelissen)

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