Business owners are on alert after two far-south convenience stores were robbed within 24 hours of each other.
While business robberies fell by 16.9% from 2 033 cases to 1 689 in the province, according to the latest crime statistics, they doubled in Fish Hoek from four to eight cases, while in Muizenberg they remained unchanged at 11 cases.
On Sunday September 22, four armed men robbed the family-run Noordhoek Supermarket.
According to Fish Hoek police station branch commander, Captain Charl Basson, three men entered the store at 6.30pm while the fourth remained outside as viewed on CCTV footage.
One of the robbers pushed a manager, at gunpoint, into the office and ordered him to open the safe, while the other two robbers chased shoppers out of the store, except for two young women whom they used later as human shields and then let go of them as they fled the store.
Fidelity ADT security officers were waiting for the robbers as they came out of the store.
According to Jade Hanning, a Fidelity ADT district manager, one of their armed-response officers was on his way to the supermarket as part of his duties when a passing member of the public warned him of the armed robbery in progress.
The officer called for back-up, which soon arrived, and they kept the shop and its entrance under observation, while waiting for police to arrive.
But the robbers came out of the shop before that, holding some of the customers between them and the four armed-response officers.
“The suspects pushed the customers out of the way quickly after exiting the shop and proceeded to open fire on our officers. Our officers had no choice but to return fire,” said Mr Hanning.
The robbers fled into the wetlands next to Hou Moed Avenue.
Police officers arrived and found a gun on the ground, and a wounded suspect was apprehended in the wetland with the help of the SAPS dog unit.
The 24-year-old man from Khayelitsha had been shot in the hand.
According to the police, he is receiving medical treatment after which he is expected to appear in court on charges business robbery, kidnapping, attempted murder, assault, intimidation and possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
Noordhoek Supermarket store manager, José de Sousa, said he had not been in the shop at the time of the robbery but had been told the shop was busy when the robbers hit.
He said his staff and his mother, who had been in the shop at the time, were still in shock, but he was grateful no one had been hurt.
The following day the Capricorn Beach Suprette in Baden Powell Drive, Muizenberg, was also robbed.
A Muizenberg woman wrote on social media about being in the shop during the robbery.
“Just a warning! Please be careful. A friend of mine and I went to the quick shop near Elaine’s in Muizenberg. Armed guys went into the shop and robbed it. It happened so fast, I still cannot believe it,” the woman said.
According to Muizenberg police acting station commander, Lieutenant Colonel Maggie Rossouw, the five armed men walked into the shop at noon and held up two cashiers.
The robbers are still at large.
Store employee Sayed Mohammed said he was in the store at the time of the robbery and it had all happened very quickly.
The robbers took cartons of cigarettes, an undisclosed amount of cash and a credit card machine before leaving on foot.
He said the shop’s CCTV camera was not working, and there was no footage of the robbery.
In August, a police officer was wounded as bullets flew during a high-speed pursuit, along Kommetjie Road, of five men who robbed a Masiphumelele spaza shop, taking cash, a cellphone and airtime.
Police arrested three suspects who face charges of attempted murder and armed robbery (“Bullets fly after robbery,” Echo, August 22).
Blob: Anyone who witnessed the Noordhoek Supermarket robbery or has information about it is asked to call the investigating officer Detective Warrant Officer Joe Scheepers at 021 784 2714.
Anyone with information about the robbery at Capricorn Beach Suprette can call the investigating officer, Detective Constable Elio Roberto Louskitt at 021 787 9000/14/15.