Several attempts by the staff of a Port Elizabeth business to call the police on 10111 minutes after it was robbed proved futile.
Solly’s Exhaust Centre was robbed at about 7am on Tuesday by four gunmen who stormed the Rundle Street, Sidwell, business shortly after it opened.
Owner Solly Ayoob said the men had parked their getaway vehicle near the shop entrance.
“They held all the workers in the shop at gunpoint, then stole money from the till and also everyone’s wallets [as well as cellphones]. They also stole tyres.”
Ayoob said the gunmen had fled but several attempts to get hold of the police had failed.
“My staff tried several times to get through to 10111 but just couldn’t get help.”
Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said an investigation of why Ayoob could not get through to the call centre was under way.
The Toyota Corolla used in the heist, stolen near King William’s Town, was found abandoned in Njoli Street, New Brighton, yesterday.
Between January and June this year, about 70 000 prank calls were made to Port Elizabeth’s 10111 emergency call centre.