UPDATE: Armed robbery at iStore i’Langa

MBOMBELA – Eight suspects held up the iStore in i’Langa Mall this morning. Nobody was harmed during this incident. According to police spokesman Capt Dawie Pretorius the incident occurred at 09:12.

He said video footage picked up that a black BMW 320i with four males inside it which parked near Panarotti’s restaurant on the upper level parking area. “Two suspects jumped out the vehicle. A few moments later, the other two exited the vehicle.  We believe the other suspects could have been dropped off earlier but there is no video footage of this so we assuming.

The footage shows three suspects scouting the shop by walking past each other in front of the store.  One suspect is seen entering the shop pretending to be a customer. Seven suspects entered the shop. “Three had firearms and forced the staff into the back of the shop.”

“They forced the staff into the walk in safe and tied them up with cable ties.” The men started looting the phones and placed them in a bag.  “One staff member bravely grabbed the bag and ran back into the safe and closed the safe door which has a magnet locking system.”

One of the staff members who kept her phone hidden, reported the armed robbery on the zello channel. All security companies, police and emergency staff responded immediately. Bossies Community Justice’s Albert Gryvenstein also arrived at the scene.

At the same time, a customer walked into the store. Upon seeing no staff, he complained about the service. One of the suspects grabbed him. The customer grabbed him back and forced him out the shop. This occurred just as another customer entered the shop.  The suspects then fled the scene.

Operations manager Kat Snyman said because the matter was reported instantly on zello and social media , the mall was flooded with onlookers.

Centre Manager Sandi Human said for safety reasons their security blocked the area.  This led to rumors running rife on social media platforms that a hostage drama was happening at the mall.

A paramedic at the scene stated that the whole of the city had heard the call for help as it had been reported on the public channel.



Tereasa Dias

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