Reader’s Letter: Robbery victim appalled by mall’s poor service

On Saturday June 17, I was pickpocketed while I stood in a line at Dolce Ice Cream around 15:45 next to the Magic Company and the food court.

I reported the incident to the security guard who was walking past immediately. He indicated that he could not assist me and that I must report the matter at customer services at entrance one, despite him having a two-way radio system.

There was no sense of urgency from him to assist me. I am currently eight months pregnant and he insisted that I walk to the management service desk and only they would assist me further. To me this was absolutely disgusting behaviour, especially given the state that I was in and the fact that I was alone at the time.

When we got to the management service desk, we had to report our incident a couple of times before the lady at the desk contacted the security centre. She requested that they view the camera to confirm our report. The security guard whom I reported the matter to could have done the same thing immediately.

After 20 minutes of waiting we were finally told that indeed I was robbed of my S7 Samsung phone and she gave us a brief description of what the thief was wearing. She further stated that the thief was seen leaving the casino parking lot at 16:02 and, therefore, they could do nothing about the incident.

We received no further assistance from them but a mere “ag shame, sorry”.

What was so frustrating and frightening about this whole incident was the lack of urgency from your security team as well as the disbelief that you have cameras installed in the mall. It seems like the only time the camera is viewed, is upon a customer reporting such incidents, instead of proactive monitoring and reaction from your side to detect such incidents.

The fact that it was so easy to steal my phone in such a busy area indicates that criminal activity is normal and rife in this mall for the above reasons.

The thieves know they will never get caught despite the presence of the random guards who seem so relaxed on duty and the installed cameras that don’t work as intended.

The highlight of this incident was when we were leaving the mall. Suddenly there was a security guard posing for duty at the exact shop that I was robbed at! Where was he before that?

Should shoppers be walking in the mall clutching their valuables as though they were walking in a shady part of town?

Beate Dreyer of Riverside Mall responds:

On behalf of Riverside Mall management, I would like to sincerely apologise for the unacceptable experience that you had at our centre on Saturday June 17. Riverside Mall prides itself on offering our customers a safe and pleasant shopping environment, and regret that you did not experience either on our premises.

The security guards who are on-site have been trained to be in accordance with the mall’s security policies and procedures.

After investigating the incident that took place on Saturday, we can confirm that the security guard in question did not follow the correct protocol.

This is taken very seriously as it puts the mall and our customers at risk. The necessary steps have already been taken as a result of the incident, ensuring that an incident like the one you experienced does not happen again.

We value all our loyal shoppers, and aim to provide a wonderful experience at every visit. We would like to apologise for the experience at our mall, and hope that you will continue shopping at our centre in the future.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to discuss the matter further.


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Reader’s Letter: Patient disheartened by poor service