Swift reaction from security as armed suspects flee

MBOMBELA – A visitor from Mozambique had his car broken into in broad daylight at Riverside Mall on Thursday.

Car guard Mr Sizwe Magagula said a Land Cruiser with Mozambican number plates parked near Mafunyane Water Park at about 12:45. The driver entered the mall. Shortly afterwards a white Range Rover with Limpopo number plates parked nearby.

One of the occupants got out and broke the window of the Land Cruiser and took a bag out of the car. Magagula said he ran away to alert security to close the gates. He added that one of the men was armed with a small gun.

Ms Ria Gouws from Riverside Mall said a security guard told her that the suspect pointed the gun at him when he approached.

“Security was notified and they closed the exit gates in order to stop them. When the suspects got to the exit gate there was a red Golf GTi standing in front of them, they jumped out.

“The driver of the Golf saw that the suspects were armed with R5 rifles. He turned his car around and raced back to Entrance Two.  The suspect proceeded to the closed gate pointing the guards with a firearm to open the gates which they did themselves and sped off.

“Nobody was injured during the incident. The Mozambican customer was assisted to open a criminal case of theft from motor vehicle. We also assisted in conjunction Nelspruit Concerned Citizens (NCC) to obtain the relevant documentation for the complainant from the consulate to pass through the border back to Maputo.

“The security components as well as the car guards were acting to the best of their ability in the given situation.  All information and footage was given to the SAPS for further investigating of the case,” she concluded.

Mbombela police spokesman Capt Dawie Pretorius said they were unaware of allegations that one or more of the assailants had been armed. He confirmed that a case of theft out of a motor vehicle was being investigated.

According to Pretorius, the total value of the laptop, hard drive, clothes and handbag allegedly stolen amounted to an estimated R45 000. He could not confirm whether cash had been taken too.

Nobody has been arrested in connection with the incident.

He advised visitors and shoppers to make sure they carried their valuables with them. “If this is impossible, rather have one of your party remain with the car.”

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