Four robberies in eight hours in Bay
Four robberies occurred in Nelson Mandela Bay over an eight-hour period between Thursday and early Friday morning.
The four robberies included two house robberies and two business robberies.
The wave of robberies started at about 5pm on Thursday and continued until 1am on Friday.
The first hit was TOPS at SPAR in Burt Drive, Cotswold at about 5:15pm on Thursday. Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said that between three and five suspects were involved in the robbery.
“One man walked into the store and held the cashier at gunpoint. He was later joined by two other suspects who stole various bottles of expensive liquor. The three men then ran out the shop but were spotted by security guards. The guards gave chase after the men who had a blue Polo getaway vehicle parked nearby,” she said.
“During the chase, one of the guards was assaulted by the suspects. We suspect that there were five suspects in total as it is believed that another two were waiting in the getaway car.”
Naidu said that the men sped off with liquor and money from the till.
This was followed by the robbery of Limes Fashion Shop in Somers Road, North End.
“The owners were inside the shop when two men entered demanding money. One suspect held both them both at gunpoint while demanding money and ransacking the store,” she said.
“The two suspects were then joined by another three men. They packed several bags of items from the store before fleeing.”
Naidu said that the owners’ BMW car was also stolen during the robbery.
“One suspect drove off in the car while the other four suspects split into different directions and fled on foot.”
By Friday morning the BMW had not yet been recovered.
On Thursday evening a couple was robbed by three men who broke into their Park Lane West home in Deer Park carrying pangas .
“Our preliminary information is that the front door was closed but not locked. The three men entered the house and confronted the 57-year-old man inside the house. The men then found the 56-year-old woman in another room. Both were then held up while the men demanded money. The suspects then ransacked the house and stole various small items as well as jewellery,” Naidu said.
“A car then pulled up at the house and the men fled on foot.”
In another incident, at about 1am on Friday, a man was attacked by three men who broke into his flatlet in Luneville Road, Lorraine. Naidu said that the three suspects kicked open the flatlet door while threatening to beat the man with steel rods.
“They stole a small amount of money and a cellphone before fleeing,” she said.
Naidu said that it was unlikely that the incidents were linked, but confirmed that it would be looked into during the investigation.
“We urge people to take extra precautions, particularly at night when they are at home. Basic due diligence is needed such as ensuring the doors and windows are locked. Make sure your alarm is set before going to bed or leaving for work,” she said.
“If you notice suspicious activity in your area, report it so that we can follow it up.”
Naidu urged residents to join their neighbourhood watches or community policing programmes in an attempt to help reduce crime.
“Fighting crime is a joint effort and we urge people to assist either by getting involved or, at a minimum, taking basic security measures to ensure your own safety such as locking doors and windows.”