From the news desk

Robbers shop up storm with stolen cards

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One day after a pair of uniformed men hit a Hout Bay business and escaped with a week’s wages after holding up staff, the robbers went on a shopping spree for new clothing on an employee’s account.

Hout Bay Boatyard office manager Melanie Mozes told News24 the duo spent R2 400 at clothing stores at a Kuilsriver shopping mall one day after they had held up her and two colleagues at their workplace last Friday.

The pair inquired about boat storage at its Harbour Road premises at 10:50 that day, she said.

“It struck me as strange when they entered through the boatyard and not our front entrance,” she said.

As she explained the procedure to the supposed customers, they claimed they did not understand her and asked for a second employee, who had been standing outside the building, to “come and assist”.

“When my colleague entered, one of the men pulled out a gun and told us to go into the office and lie on our stomachs. We did as we were told,” Mozes said.

DEMAND MORE MONEY

“They demanded to know where the safe was and I calmly told them we didn’t have one. I explained we didn’t keep lots of cash on the premises and we only had the wages in the filing cabinet.”

After counting the R9 000 they had retrieved, the duo insisted there had to be more money on-site.

“When I told them that was all we had, they threatened to hurt me if they found any other cash in the office. They went through the drawers and scratched around, but they didn’t find any more.”

As the robbers searched for money, an unsuspecting colleague walked in on the robbery in progress.

“One of the robbers pistol-whipped him before they tied us up. They then went into a neighbouring office,” she said.

“When we no longer heard any noise inside, one of my colleagues untied himself and cut us loose. When I got to my office, I found my handbag, cellphone and purse were gone.”

The men fled in her car, an Opel Corsa Essentia, which was last seen on a licence plate recognition camera in Camps Bay about an hour after the robbery.

NOT YET CAPTURED

Ward councillor Jacques Weber explained since they were spotted so soon after the incident, the car’s number plate had not yet been captured and flagged on the camera system.

“If it had been, an alarm would have sounded, alerting the control room of a wanted plate passing through,” he said.

Vehicles are registered on the system once a criminal case has been opened.

If spotted, alerts were sent to the police and civic bodies to apprehend it.

However, the robbers were not yet done with Mozes.

“The next day they went to Zevenwacht Mall where they spent R1 099 at Markhams and R1 300 at Mr Price,” she said.

Mozes has since cancelled her cards.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut confirmed the incident was being investigated. News24


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